WSTR are a pop punk quartet hailing from Liverpool, UK. They are made up of Sammy Clifford (vocals), Kieren Alder (guitar), Danny Swift (guitar) and Alex Tobijanski (bass). Their debut album, Red, Green, or Inbetween was released on 20th January 2017 via No Sleep Records following the success of their debut EP SKRWD (also with No Sleep Records). They have toured the UK and Europe with international bands such as Neck Deep, Moose Blood and Creeper and played at the fantastic Slam Dunk Festival.
Their influences are the likes of Blink 182, New Found Glory and Sum 41 and they describe themselves as products of those influences. According to WSTR, putting out an album as a “big scary step” but they are ready to see “what the world has to say”. So here goes…..
Well you can definitely hear those influences right from the first track, “Featherweight”. Shouty pop-punk vocals reminiscent of Deryck Whibley circa All Killer No Filler. This track has fantastic upbeat, forceful lyrics great for any festival stage. I can see the audience slamming, foot stomping and generally going wild for this track.
Following “Footprints”, “Gobshite” and “Lonely Smiles”, “Nail the Casket (Thanks for Nothing)” takes it down a notch with a more chilled track. That’s not to say slow, just a little quieter. It reminds me of Blink 182’s “I Miss You” – something in the sentiment of the line “Why do girls take turns in leaving me to burn” somehow seems familiar.
Again “King’s Cup” sounds a lot like early Blink 182, and had me engrossed right from the first guitar riff to the dying chords. Followed by “The Last Ride”, this is an album that keeps your attention.
Generally, all the tracks on this album remind me of being 15 years old again, out driving in my sister’s Mini in the sunshine. Now while I have stated the similarities between songs on this album and the bands who influenced WSTR, this does not in any way take away from the album in its own right. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is not so much imitation as evolution of the sounds these bands created so many year ago into something new and excellent.
This is an awesome first album. I can’t wait to see these guys on the festival circuit and can really picture them at the Warped Tour, drawing in a huge crowd!