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A Wilhelm Scream - Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud (Cover Artwork)

A Wilhelm Scream

A Wilhelm Scream: Benefits Of Thinking Out LoudBenefits Of Thinking Out Loud (2001)
Jump Start Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: ChinatownChinatown
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A Wilhelm Scream is a band that, as of late, has received a fair amount of praise on this site. Understandably so; their latest, Mute Print, is a well-produced skate punk album with more than a handful of memorable songs. But, had the praise come from this record alone, it would have been unjustifie.
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A Wilhelm Scream is a band that, as of late, has received a fair amount of praise on this site. Understandably so; their latest, Mute Print, is a well-produced skate punk album with more than a handful of memorable songs. But, had the praise come from this record alone, it would have been unjustified. Simply put, Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud fails to deliver on many levels.

Although they've been an outfit since 1993, the guys recorded this album in the infancy of their recording career - my copy still boasts their old name Smackin' Isaiah on its cover, and unless www.allmusic.com is playing a trick on me, this is their debut - and, in doing so, stumbled into many of the hurdles that present themselves whenever a young group searches for its sound in the studio. Some of the songs are either too short or long for their own good. For instance, the speedy "You Make Me Feel Like I Need A Psychiatric Evaluation" begins with explosive gang vocals, then, just as you're expecting a full-blown chorus, ends at forty-six seconds, leaving you with a sense of what-could-have-been. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the closer, "Month Of Sundays," is a sluggish, four-minute power-pop tune that would be right at home on Tell All Your Friends. This album is structured much like Mute Print in that it features a pretty even mix of emotional and aggressive moments, but whereas the latter never becomes too plaintive, at certain points in Benefits vocalist Nuno Pereira becomes almost unbearably whiny. It's precisely in those instances that his lyrics tend to waver into simplicity: "Can I move along just like you do? / Because it feels good to be alone / I deserve to be alone." In turn, so does the instrumentation. The dynamics of the band become buried under stale, slow beats and uninspired riffs. Such moments are thankfully sparse; still, there are three songs on here I can't tolerate because of that flaw.

Production-wise, it's...alright. The sound quality is in the middle of the road between the abrasiveness of mid-nineties Asian Man punk releases and the current slick Fat sound. Given A Wilhelm Scream's fast pace and use of dual guitars, it certainly dampers them more than, say, the Lawrence Arms. Nuno's vocals are quite raw on Benefits, and somewhat reminiscent of Chuck Ragan, so if that's your thing, you shouldn't have any problems with them. But then there's the clicking. Despite the fact that I paid ten dollars for this album, I kept on thinking I was listening to a burnt CD. All of the tracks here flow into one another, but not with the smooth transition expected of a professional recording. Instead, you get a noticeable click in between almost each track. The sound is jarring to the ears, especially when heard through headphones, and detracts from the album in the sense that it comes off as a bit rushed and amateurish.

This disc isn't without its triumphs. Opener "Hike" is the one short song that actually works; at barely thirty seconds and both fast and catchy, it serves as a nice glimpse of what to expect from most of the album. The Strung Out-flavoured soloing on "A Chapter Of Accidents" is vibrant and serves as a template for the extensive guitar work showcased on later songs such as "The Rip." When he keeps his subject matter political, Nuno does manage to pull off a few decent lines: "Please don't speak, because I can't think less of you / You fuck with us and we'll be fucking you soon / We're in line, a number / Just know we've got yours."

Though most of the ingredients that make Mute Print such a great album are in place here, albeit in lesser portions, ultimately there's something missing to the recipe. Perhaps A Wilhelm Scream's dynamic nature is dulled by the somewhat lacking production; perhaps Mute Print is just so superior to this record that it eclipses it in every single way, but I just don't find myself listening to Benefits at all. If the band were to tweak these songs today with their current arsenal and experience, I'm sure they could make it great. But alas...

In closing, Benefits is by no means terrible; in fact, the few bright spots place it slightly above your average punk album. But, for the clicking issues alone, I must knock the rating down a peg. I feel that this is simply inexcusable from a band/label that charges the same prices as Fat Wreck or Deep Elm for their products. If you enjoy Mute Print, you might want to pick this up just to witness the amazing leap of progress A Wilhelm Scream has made in only three years. If you only casually enjoyed their latest, however, don't bother with this one.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
A Wilhelm Scream - RuinerA Wilhelm Scream - Mute PrintA Wilhelm Scream - Diver [7 inch]A Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Propagandhi - Supporting CasteNOFX - Punk In DrublicNOFX - The DeclineRyan's Hope - Apocalypse in IncrementsDead to Me - Cuban Ballerina

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
fuckyeah568 (April 3, 2012)

Im surprised by the low scores here... this is one of the catchiest records I have ever heard! Maybe its not as well put together as the newer A Wilhelm Scream, but the songwriting is genius. I grew up listening to Smackin Isaiah, so this music just makes sense to me. Do yourself a favor and gIve it another shot!

t-rock (August 8, 2007)

Really good CD. I picked it up recently and it definitely isn't as catchy as the other albums, but if you let it grow on you, it'll be really enjoyable.

housewrecker (January 19, 2005)

Here we go Steelers!

Anonymous (January 18, 2005)

so the crowbar website is full of crap?

tell be D/0 is still playing at least...

Anonymous (January 18, 2005)

yeah, especially those damned ones with dual citizenship.

Anonymous (January 18, 2005)

Yeah man. What the fuck is with those goddamn immigrants?

Anonymous (January 18, 2005)

this band sucks because they try too hard to sound like sum 41.

oh yeah, and their singer is an immigrant or something. what the hell?!?!

Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

yes, yes we do suck. no cake for you.

btw curt, no on 15 isn't playing that show on the 24th. you've been misinformed.

Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

Speaking of jumpstart sucking...

can't wait for the show on the 24th.
I'm expecting it will be out of control.
And will be very disappointed if any member of No On 15 is sober while playing.

Curt

Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

I wrote down Tank Records in the "Label" field you goddamn moron, and was fully expecting them to include it in the review, which made mentioning the label in the body of the text unnecessary. Jump Start fucking sucks.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

For those of you complaining that you don't know what this band sounds like, the reason is simply that A Wilhelm Scream succeeds in creating quite an original sound that is distinctly theirs and yet really hard to compare to anyone else.

But here's my attempt: Fast, aggressive, melodic punk rock with 3 part vocal harmonies, dual guitarmonies, with a growly lead singer and less aggressive backups. If you like bands like Rise Against, Strung Out, Hot Water Music, Propagandhi, or Thrice, and appreciate very intelligent, self-aware lyrics, put them on your list of bands to check out.

PS. For the record, the reason "Dead Droid" would be a problem is probably because "droid" sounds like the kind of term lucas would copyright / trademark / whatever. Having similar company names alone does not mean there will be a trademark infringement as long as the companies are not in the same business.

jumpstartrecords (January 17, 2005)

and since i'm such a douchebag....

i'm not worried about any legal problems with knowledge adventures software because of my name because for starters, it's jump start records, not jumpstart records (three words, not two). second, we're in two different areas of commerce (which does make a difference, legally), and as i said, i hardly think people buying childrens computer software are going to be confused with a company putting out some punk rock records. if kinowledge adventures were to try and bring suit against the label because of our name, they'd have to prove in a court of law that our name infringes and damages their business' economic standing. plus, i've had a copyright on the name since 1996. as far as i can tell, they've only had a copyright since 2003.

and in more douchebagatudeness......

this record was indeed pressed under the name smackin' isaiah on jump start. i said that in my earlier post. it was re-released on jump start under the name smackin' isaiah in 2002, and re-pressed with the name a wilhelm scream in 2004. regardless of whether your told any staff members to list it as a tank records release, it wasn't, and you made no reference to this in the review so you're still at fault.

jumpstartrecords (January 17, 2005)

hahaha, i'm a douchebag. i love it.

Anchors (January 17, 2005)

I'm looking forward to it. (That was me below)

barryscatton (January 17, 2005)

I am finishing it this week, fret not.

Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

Barry, what the fuck happened to the 'Worst Albums of the Year' segment you had going.

You can't leave us on the cliff at number 5.

Anonymous (January 16, 2005)

hehe... barry's last name is scatton

barryscatton (January 16, 2005)

This is by far the most retarded argument I have ever seen anybody engaged in on this website.

bizzlebrizzle (January 16, 2005)

Well, all of the comments by the Jumpstart Records representative are indicative of him being a douche bag.

Anonymous (January 16, 2005)

"Jump Start Records' representative is a douche bag."

I like how everyone here can complain about ethics in music, yet this guy is reduced to nothing more than a job title, "Jumpstarts record rep".

If you don't like the world of corporate entities, don't treat everybody like one, and if you don't like dehumanizing business, try humanizing it.

This guy has a name, which on the internet is good not to share, and jump start has put out good and bad records, like any other label.

Until you guys actually deal with music on a nonfan side, say production, marketing, booking, being in a band, or have actual real world ethical matters that effect you, having kids, owning a business, actually knowing who is in what office in your city government, you should enjoy the music, not participate in it as art, don't join in conversations, and generally don't exist until you know how to speak to other people with respect and some endgame in mind.

Yours,
Wyzo

PS. If you do in fact have kids, or are above 15 years of age (it would be prejudicial of me to assume), why the fuck are you talking like this? You graduated high school, don't go back!

PPS. I still like this record very much.

bizzlebrizzle (January 16, 2005)

Jump Start Records' representative is a douche bag.

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

These guys are good, but Strung Out fucking eats them alive.

JoshCBFL

jumpstartrecords (January 15, 2005)

like i said, comparing the two records is like comparing apples to oranges. i wish i had the benefit of reviewing a record for a site like punknews.org four years after a new and obviously much better record is released.

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

By the way, I deducted 1 point for the clicking. Had there not been this flaw, it still would've gotten only a 6. Mute Print is just so much better.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

yeah, i'm really worried about consumers being confused between childrens learning software and punk rock records.

outside of your comments in regards to the fact after the review was posted, you never said that you owned the tank version in the review. the review was even listed as being from our release. since you went on to give it a low score and basically told people not to buy the record based on the "clicking" noises on the record, i'd say that's pretty misinformed and misleading. our version doesn't have any clicking or audio defects due to manufacturing error.

Actually Mr. Jumpstart, it's not the fact that you share the same name, it's for legal reasons. Dead Droid Records, for instance, were forced to change their name due to the "droid" part. I was just giving you a heads-up.....

And the fact that I said I owned a copy with Smackin' Isaiah on its cover should do well enough to demark it as a Tank release, since you guys re-released this album in '03, after the band had conducted the name-change. Plus, if you look in the comments way below, you'll see that I complained to the staff that someone had changed the name of the label I submitted my review under (that sentence didn't make much sense, but I'm not correcting it for you). I submitted this as having been released by Tank. Complain to the staffers, not me.

-Chinatown

jumpstartrecords (January 15, 2005)

yeah, i'm really worried about consumers being confused between childrens learning software and punk rock records.

outside of your comments in regards to the fact after the review was posted, you never said that you owned the tank version in the review. the review was even listed as being from our release. since you went on to give it a low score and basically told people not to buy the record based on the "clicking" noises on the record, i'd say that's pretty misinformed and misleading. our version doesn't have any clicking or audio defects due to manufacturing error.

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

"Anyone who hasn't heard their ska song "You're Faker Than A Blonde Puerto Rican" cannot possibly pass full judgement."

Why's that exactly? So you can sound like an elitist little cunt?

Crookedsuperhero (January 15, 2005)

mmm a BSD vs Chinatown war is brewing...nothing like two of the site's biggest jackoffs going head to head...

But Chinatown is so much worse, and BSD is dead right about his fake indie pride.

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

Way overrated band

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

mmm a BSD vs Chinatown war is brewing...nothing like two of the site's biggest jackoffs going head to head...

Big_Guy (January 14, 2005)

I think this record is awesome. Jumpstart puts out some great shit.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Not buying an album because it's on Sony?

I'd be more offended if great music was on majors, but I digress...

You care more about the "ethics" than the music, and the sickest thing is that you aren't even really into the "ethics", you're into how hip pretending you care makes you in the scene.

Thanks for ruining some music,
-BSD

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

BSD, I think it's time you stop making huge assumptions about other users based on a few words they include in their comments. It shows a desperate attempt to appear intelligent, when in fact it's nothing more than hyperbole. I care a whole lot less about being indie than you think do; I'm merely lending a more extremist view to this site. I may not buy an album because Sony releases it, but it's not like I won't listen to a catchy Modest Mouse song if it comes up on the radio, or watch "The Wedge" on MuchMusic if they happen to be airing a Locust video (which they are--yay).

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

This reviewer cares more about his own spotlight than the albums.

This record far exceeds 'mute print'. Its raw, energetic, and goes to the jugular.

I listen to this record every couple months, I listen to mute print almost never. I still think they have immense potential, and mute print is not a bad record, this record carved a much more unique place for itself however.

A great LP.

wyzo

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Chinatown-

Your accusations that everyone is just "cashing in" reflect the insecurity that despite all of your "indie" rambling, you are in fact just a materialistic nitwit.

-BSD

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

"also, for the reviewer, i have no idea what the fuck you're talking about in regards to clicking in tracks on your cd. there's none on any of the copies of this cd that i've heard. if you want a new one, return your old one and i'll replace it. either that, or your stereo/cd-rom on your computer sucks ass. this record was pressed at the same plant as many of our previous releases and we've never had anyone complain about a "defective product" outside of me being a moron and not noticing spelling mistakes in artwork."

Look Mr. Jumpstart, I have the version of Benefits that was released on Tank Records. Maybe you guys smoothed out that flaw by remastering or whatever you do to cash in on hot bands, but the clicking is there (and quite audible) on my album. Plus, I've heard another copy of this record (also released on Tank; I bought this at a AWS gig, along with a countless amount of other people), and it featured the same "defect," or whatever you wish to call it. And I have a perfectly good stereo system, thank you very much.

By the way, your label shares its name with a company that makes educational products for children. You'd do well to watch out. www.jumpstart.com

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

I consider "Smackin' Isaiah Gets Eaten Alive" their first full-length, since although it was cassette only, it was a full LP's worth of songs. Anyone who hasn't heard their ska song "You're Faker Than A Blonde Puerto Rican" cannot possibly pass full judgement.

jumpstartrecords (January 14, 2005)

tank records originally released this record in 2001, so i'd say it was recorded in late 2000/early 2001. i'm not certain. it was re-released in 2002 under the name smackin' isaiah on jump start. it was later re-pressed with the name a wilhelm scream in 2004 (it would have been repressed sooner but it took the band a few months to settle on a new name as well as waiting for them to finalize their deal with nitro).

as for production, this was recorded at trevor's father's studio, black and blue project studios. to my knowledge, this was before a lot of upgrades and new construction to the studio. a lot of the pre-production stuff (like "fuck you i run hollywood") that's been showing up lately was/is done there. back in 2000 it wasn't the best studio in the world. it's much better now, but comparing it to the blasting room is like comparing apples and oranges; they're just in two different leagues. it also goes without saying that jason and bill at the blasting room are two incredibly talented engineers and producers.

trevor is the primary song writer for aws, although nuno and jon have contributed lyrically and musically in the past (both on this record and their debut, "the way to a girl's heart is through her boyfriend's stomach", which was re-released on all about records in 2003, i believe).

personally, i think anyone that has been a fan of this band for a long time wasn't and shouldn't have been surprised by "mute print" at all. between this record, their first record, and the ep on fork in hand you could hear the progression in the band's songwriting. i remember hearing some of the songs from "mute print" back in the tail end of 2002 and basically shit myself. i can't wait to hear what trevor and the boys have in store for us in 2005.

also, for the reviewer, i have no idea what the fuck you're talking about in regards to clicking in tracks on your cd. there's none on any of the copies of this cd that i've heard. if you want a new one, return your old one and i'll replace it. either that, or your stereo/cd-rom on your computer sucks ass. this record was pressed at the same plant as many of our previous releases and we've never had anyone complain about a "defective product" outside of me being a moron and not noticing spelling mistakes in artwork.

booyakasha (January 14, 2005)

What is going on here?? This comment board and this review.....it's like the twilight zone. Respect.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

One of those bands you read a bunch of rave reviews about, but come away with no knowledge of what they remotely sound like.

Uninterested.

-BSD

punkcorekid (January 14, 2005)

still don't get what everybody sees in this band. mute print was horrible. strung out are way better than this.

bizzlebrizzle (January 14, 2005)

A Wilhelm Scream - Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-01-14 13:50:13
My Score:

"I guess if you suck a lot of dick they are.

(Waits for PC ass eaters to jump on him)"

We get it. You're tough, you're edgy, you're all about free speech and you say what you want, much to the dismay of everyone here. This isn't about being P.C., this is just about you being obnoxious.

It's about this band gargling cum for breakfast and eating shit for lunch. Seriously only pansies like this bullshit.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

"I guess if you suck a lot of dick they are.

(Waits for PC ass eaters to jump on him)"

We get it. You're tough, you're edgy, you're all about free speech and you say what you want, much to the dismay of everyone here. This isn't about being P.C., this is just about you being obnoxious.

bizzlebrizzle (January 14, 2005)

ps. i hate blacks.

-chinatown

Thanks for taking the heat off of me!

inagreendase (January 14, 2005)

the Jumpstart site says it's a reissue of the Tank Records release with a redesigned cover. Booyah!

It would be silly to label this a Smackin' Isiah album and a Tank Records labeling if I'm going to use the redesigned cover of the album that Jumpstart has the credit for reissuing, dontcha think?

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

ps. i hate blacks.

-chinatown

bizzlebrizzle (January 14, 2005)

bizzle brizzle or whatever's trippin'. these guys are way better than strung out.

I guess if you suck a lot of dick they are.

(Waits for PC ass eaters to jump on him)

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

bizzle brizzle or whatever's trippin'. these guys are way better than strung out.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

"this record is fucking great. Class of 97 easily the best song.

This is their 2nd full length. it goes 2 demos tapes, a 3 way-split on Tank Records (some of my Fav songs of theirs are on this), The Way to a Girls Heart is Through her Boyfriends Stomach full length, Benifits of Thinking Out Loud full length, The Champagne of Band (We Know Sexy) EP, and then finally Mute Print.

best band ever in my opinion.

Mattew"

I had no idea they had a release before this one. I couldn't find any info on their old albums. My apologies.

By the way, when I submitted my review, I clearly indicated that it had been released on Tank (it came in a DVD case). So I have no idea why they put down Jumpstart as the label......

-Chinatown

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Good review. This album sounds like a "Pennywise" compared to an "Unknown Road."

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Only assholes want to fall in love.

bizzlebrizzle (January 14, 2005)

Jon has a great voice, go fuck yourself.

So that's the back-up singer's voice?

Seriously, he ruins that shit, he makes the entire band sound castrated.

And to the reviewer who said they sound like "Strung Out from back when they were really good." You're seriously on crack, and I hope you die from it because A Wilhelm Scream can't even touch Strung Out when Strung Out was at their worst. Seriously why is everyone jizzing all over this crap band?

sickboi (January 14, 2005)

Jon has a great voice, go fuck yourself.

bizzlebrizzle (January 14, 2005)

Saw them live, this band sounds like Pipedown if Pipedown was a bunch of sissy castrated men. I swear that faggy(no other word to describe him PC Crew, so don't jump down my throat) back up singer ruined the band.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

this record is fucking great. Class of 97 easily the best song.

This is their 2nd full length. it goes 2 demos tapes, a 3 way-split on Tank Records (some of my Fav songs of theirs are on this), The Way to a Girls Heart is Through her Boyfriends Stomach full length, Benifits of Thinking Out Loud full length, The Champagne of Band (We Know Sexy) EP, and then finally Mute Print.

best band ever in my opinion.

Mattew

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

mp3 link from this album, the song Catharsis for Dummies: http://www.jumpstartrecords.com/Merchant2/media/audio/jst032_05.m p3

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

And don't try to deny it ... the Jumpstart site says it's a reissue of the Tank Records release with a redesigned cover. Booyah!

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Not to dump on the review some more, but they didn't release this under the name Wilhelm Scream, so it shouldn't be labeled as such. It's misleading -- this is a Smackin' Isiah record.

Go Sox, Yankees suck.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Actually, the singer doesn't write the songs, the guitar player does all the music and lyrics. (and OBVIOUSLY mute print is better, duh.)

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

this album is like six years old, why are you reviewing it now?

mykindofmurder (January 14, 2005)

i thought this band was on nitro?

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