It’s an unpopular opinion but the pop-punk genre is past its prime. There’s still enjoyment to be had but the newer content being released from its founding bands is tiresome to say the least (I’m looking at you blink-182). Yet 2017 could be a comeback for the genre. WSTR are a quartet that hail from Liverpool and might be the cure for jilted pop-punk enthusiasts.
After a successful EP in the shape of SKRWD their debut album Red, Green or Inbetween is here. Thematically, it’s Pop-Punk 101. Tracks bursting with self-deprecation and nostalgia-soaked trips down memory lane. It’s exactly what you’d expect; complete with faux-Californian accents and harmonies. Yet it sounds fresh. This is a band that is proud of growing up during hay-day of the genre, when blink-182, Sum 41 and New Found Glory were at the top of their game. WSTR are a better band for keeping their inspiration close to their heart; it’s a sign that they care.
A standout track is ‘Hightail’, blistering vocal tirades from Sammy Clifford paired with winding guitar riffs create a sense of fun that is lacking from most music nowadays. It’s pure, chaotic enjoyment that sends itself perfectly towards redefining the genre.
Closing track ‘Punchline’ is no joke; this melancholy anthem adds a layer of drama to the usual pop-punk shtick and ends the album on a high. As debut albums, go we’re pretty smitten with what WSTR have on offer.
Red, Green or Inbetween by WSTR is released on January 20th via No Sleep Records.