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A Wilhelm Scream - A Wilhelm Scream [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)

A Wilhelm Scream

A Wilhelm Scream: A Wilhelm Scream [12 inch]A Wilhelm Scream [12 inch] (2009)
Paper and Plastick

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: usversusthemusversusthem
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Back in 2005, my four favourite bands -- all stamped with the Org seal of approval -- released amazing albums: A Wilhelm Scream loosed Ruiner upon us; Propagandhi dropped Potemkin City Limits; Paint It Black put out Paradise; and the Lawrence Arms combined a smörgåsbord of wonderful non-album tracks into Cocktails and Dreams. It was a good year.

2009 sees all four release material in the same calendar year for the first time since -- in Propagandhi's case, the only time since -- but you'd be forgiven for expecting a bit more from them. Since Supporting Caste came out in March, the other three bands have released a piddling total of 19 songs combined, and nine of those were Paint-It-Black-length.

The final five to arrive, however, do not disappoint. A Wilhelm Scream, the eponymous EP format debut from a band with three LPs under their technically wizardrous belt and a bevy of Koen- and Smackin' Isaiah-labelled skeletons in their closet -- though 2001's Benefits of Thinking Out Loud, I should point out, is very good -- clocks in at just over 17 minutes. With a band like A Wilhelm Scream who are so good at releasing full-fledged albums, it's strange to listen to such a short release; it kicks off and then it's over so abruptly -- which is a shame, because it's fucking awesome.

What AWS does best is shred, and shred they do here. What differentiates A Wilhelm Scream from 2007's speed-fest fasterpiece Career Suicide, though, is its willingness to slow down at times -- specifically, on the third song, "Fun Time," which sounds like a longer version of "In Vino Veritas II," with alcohol-consumption-related lyrics to boot. It's a change of pace, literally and figuratively, but these guys, for all their technicality, still know how to write fun music, and I can't help but enjoy it.

Elsewhere, we're treated to a bit more variety as well. The wonderfully-titled "Every Great Story Has a Shower Scene" recalls some of AWS's shorter, punkier Mute Print-era songs, in length and structure if not in sound, while the final two, "Bulletproof Tiger" and "Skid Rock," pick up where Career Suicide closer "We Built This City! (On Debts and Booze)" left off, displaying AWS's aptitude for crafting long and extremely complex yet eminently listenable songs.

For its part, opener "Australias" exhibits the kind of stuff I consider "classic" A Wilhelm Scream material. I appreciate their newfound willingness to write four-minute songs -- and on a five-song EP, doubly so -- but I feel like they really excel around the 2:25 to 3:25 range (consider: "Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks," "Anchor End," "William Blake Overdrive," "The Rip," "The King Is Dead," "Killing It," "The Soft Sell," "Diver," "5 to 9," "Die While We're Young," "Jaws 3, People 0," etc.). Well, now you can add "Australias" to that list. It's a banger, and don't be surprised if you're shouting, "You tried to pull the wool over the wolf / 'Til you can't see the white of my eyes / Your bastards aren't so young anymo-oh-oh-ore*" in the coming weeks.

For those wondering how the addition of former Alucard guitarist Mike Supina in Chris Levesque's place would affect the band's sound, fear not. Though there does seem to be a deal more occult-powers-level guitar magick on tap here, it's in sync with AWS's general trend towards more and more technical work as they've progressed, and maybe it's because he's been with them now for two years, but his presence seems to have affected the mechanics of the band less than the arrival of bassist Brian Robinson and his penchant for fingertapping (which makes an impressive return in the intro to "Skid Rock") did on Career Suicide.

So, all in all, this is a very good EP -- whose only real flaw is the fact that it's not an LP -- and you'd be a fool to sleep on it. I only hope that we can get a full-length from these guys soon; they're so good, but I'm always afraid the rigorous touring schedule they put themselves through will wear the band into a breakup before their time. I guess that sense of fear only makes me savour the stuff we do get from them all the more. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go savour A Wilhelm Scream for the next 17 minutes. Oh, you know what I mean.

[With no physical copy to go on -- the album's available from the iTunes store as a digital download, but only from Paper + Plastick physically today, and no lyrics up online anywhere, these may not be correct, so don't sue me. Anyway, part of the fun of AWS is that you end up singing along to stuff that walks the fine line between making sense and making sense only to Trevor Reilly. God love 'im.]

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
A Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerA Wilhelm Scream - Mute PrintThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Propagandhi - Supporting CasteThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits

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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.
publichousing (March 27, 2010)

I've been recanting alot of my previous comments on album reviews and will be doing the same here, sorta. I stand behind my praise of the guitar and instrumental work, of course, but I regret my bad-mouthing of the vocals. I have grown to love the vocals and I think they suit this band fine. This is a good EP and Career Suicide was crazy good. Glad these guys are so consistent in a genre where consistency is hard to achieve.

roosterboy (December 13, 2009)

Greatest band in the world, however this EP seems to have too much emphasis on being techy rather than writing great songs. Still shits on most bands who call themselves "punk"

someone-yeah (December 2, 2009)

Here's hoping they go back to Bill Stevenson for their full length. He made them sound amazing.

XHenkkaX (November 27, 2009)

An OK EP by a great band. Earlier CDs were instant jams in my book, I guess I have to spend a little more time with this one. Skid Rock rocks hard, though.

petternitter (November 26, 2009)

Correction: Skid Rock too messy. Bulletproof Tiger and Fun Times = awesome. Are there no edit buttons on this page?

petternitter (November 26, 2009)

Favourite band. Skin Rock and Bulletproof Tiger is too messy. Fun Times is amazing. The rest are great. Production is fair.

pufferfish (November 25, 2009)

I actually like the production on here a whole more than on Career Suicide.

It's bare bones and clean. Win.

ak3punk (November 25, 2009)

Good, but for some reason the last full lenght sounded wayyyyyyyy better. Production issues????

hayman (November 24, 2009)

Love it. Best live band going as far as I'm concerned and every release is better than the next. Can't wait to hear the new stuff live. Whatever happened to Bigwig? They were awesome too.

mikexdude (November 24, 2009)

"Relax. It's only okay"'
Says the guy who jizzes his pants at the mere mention of polar bear club every chance.

You do realize that was the joke right?

theproblemwithfire (November 23, 2009)

oh yeah, and the score

theproblemwithfire (November 23, 2009)

Yeah, this is real good. These guys are so consistent. The production fits for it being an EP, fun time is the weakest track bit I like it in there to slow things down for a minute, and it's not bad, either. The band can shred and write good songs. You can't fault them for putting technical parts in theirs songs, as this certainly isn't a case of style over substance. Sometimes I think people just want every band with a gruff singer and to sound like hot water music.

"Relax. It's only okay"'
Says the guy who jizzes his pants at the mere mention of polar bear club every chance. the redder the better was the best thing they've done. this band would eat them for breakfast.

WD30 (November 23, 2009)

Can I also ask where in hell is the vinyl? Has anyone heard anything? Just gimme a date. That's all I ask.

thekidsaresoso (November 23, 2009)

This reviewer needs to wear mustard yellow pants less often.

That color is for vinyl...not pants.

neo_reloaded (November 23, 2009)

Amazing EP, love it.

Yes, this is available in a physical format - you can order (or pre-order? who knows with fucking P P) the CD digipack from P P's site, or you can order the 6-track version of the CD from Shock Records (Australian distro with 1 exclusive track for some reason).

There's also supposed to be a vinyl option available with 3 bonus tracks not on any of the other formats (but missing the AUS bonus track). P P said this would be available to order on the release date, last Friday, Nov. 20th - but it's still not even on their site.

Goddamn, what bullshit. I want one CD with all 9 tracks, available for pre-order a decent amount of time before release date and shipping at least by the release date. Is that so goddamn hard?

Fuck P P. Bridge 9, court AWS like they never been courted before and make that shit happen.

pufferfish (November 23, 2009)

Maybe if you let Vinnie bone you in the ass, he'll give you a physical copy.

-jones the bones likes to get boned in his ass

-I actually really miss having jones the bones come around punknews.org, and wish he posted more often

stevejonestherealbones (November 22, 2009)

is this actually available physically? paper plastic only lists downloads...

- jones bones

- second signature line

IamtheAvatar (November 22, 2009)

A combination of those bands show up under "what other people like" no matter what band you're looking at.

Fun Time is awesome.

mikeva (November 22, 2009)

orgcore is pretty easy to tell. just look at the band's profile. under "what other users also liked," if there's a combination of lawrence arms, alkaline trio, d4, jawbreaker, against me, hot water music, and gaslight anthem, then you're certifiably orgcore.

Alien (November 22, 2009)

One of my favorite releases this year, if not my favorite.

onegirlarmy (November 22, 2009)

Neverbeenbetter.... AWS isn't on nitro anymore/nor does the label exist.

AWS is orgcore? Wasn't aware of that either. But I also am no expert on what could be considered Org favorites aside from the obvious (HWM, Larry Arms, D4).

As for this EP, not a big fan really. Australias and Skid Rock are great songs but I'm not terribly keen on the others. I'll leave this with an ok score for now unless it grows on me, which it might.

publichousing (November 22, 2009)

Great EP.
The guitar work is so amazing, but to be honest, I think the vocals limit the songs. Just my opinion.

And, Bullerproof Tiger sounds just like something from Propagandhi or I-Spy. Which is never a bad thing!

LooseKanonYankee (November 22, 2009)

is the release average or is the band average?
because youve listed NOFX as one of your favorite bands
and they are pictured next to the word "average" in the dictionary

drewshaw (November 22, 2009)

average

neverbeenbetter (November 21, 2009)

don't like them

nitro records is one of the worst punk labels ever

most org'core bands suck.

fuck

ok

and this is what a wilhelm scream is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdbYsoEasio

if you want a good song about death i recommend the 60's punks Fourth Ryke 'You're Cutting Out'.

M
O
R
E

S P A C E

4

L
E
T
ERS
i!i!

plaidical (November 21, 2009)

call me crazy, but I had no idea this came out. screw iTunes btw

diver (November 21, 2009)

It's no surprise that I love this.
And "Fun Time" really deserves more love.

friokir (November 21, 2009)

I wonder if you people liked everything they did as long as they had shredding parts. the only one I liked from the start was mute print, the others grew on me, maybe this one will aswell.

woodprop (November 21, 2009)

Awesome, love Bulletproof Tiger and Skid Rock.

thepopeofchili-town (November 21, 2009)

Fantastic release. Probably my favorite EP released this year. Came out of nowhere and surprised me. They work so much better in EP form. They should take a cue from Paint It Black and just put out 7 inches.

macbethmystery (November 21, 2009)

Not as good as Career Suicide because of the kinda lo-fi production and low BPM. Still excellent. They should just write an album of bangers like Bulletproof Tiger and Skid Rock. I guess that's what fits them best.

ehx82 (November 21, 2009)

Excellent EP, better review. Well played sir.

telegraphrocks (November 21, 2009)

6

strizzmatik (November 21, 2009)

Really good but not even close to Career Suicide good tbqfh

genebuonaccorsi (November 21, 2009)

Fun Time doesnt really sound like In Vino Veritas

except that its kinda slow

Blackjaw_ (November 21, 2009)

It's good, but doesn't grab me like their other stuff did.

whoostin (November 21, 2009)

This truly shreds! My band also has a shredding New EP out now, check it out at myspace.com/socialstandardz

LooseKanonYankee (November 21, 2009)

In a year full of great fucking EPs, this one is the best

RobbyKills (November 21, 2009)

also these guys get a lot of obvious comparisons to Propagandhi, but I totally think this EP especially sounds like Todd Kowalski's pre-Prop band I-Spy if they kept up and got more and more polished. Thoughts?

RobbyKills (November 21, 2009)

hahaha fasterpiece

damnitsderek (November 21, 2009)

This has officially displaced "Hold On, Dodge" as my EP of the year.

Stoked for the next LP, whenever it comes.

IamtheAvatar (November 21, 2009)

This thing is pretty unbelievable.

mikexdude (November 21, 2009)

God, i hate you

People can dish it out, but can't take it.

Uncle_Leo (November 21, 2009)

Wow. What a great, great album. And, a spot on review. Kudos to both.

quicksandfan (November 21, 2009)

All the songs are as awesome as I knew they would be. I really like "Fun Time", it showcases their slower poppier side and it is catchy as all hell.

From what I think I understand, the extra songs on the vinyl are just from them fucking around and aren't "real" songs. I could be wrong though.

quicksand (November 20, 2009)

Once again, the vinyl will have three more songs than the other releases.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/9162/awsh.png

thegreatestmanalive (November 20, 2009)

"Relax. It's only okay"

God, i hate you

lostandclowned (November 20, 2009)

I can't get enough of it.

makeshifty (November 20, 2009)

Australias and Bulletproof Tiger are in my top 10 AWS songs.

almostpunkenough (November 20, 2009)

incredible EP is incredible. i can't get enough of this ear-sex.

you_are_a_loser (November 20, 2009)

I think this album (and your review) are great.

TheChemist (November 20, 2009)

Unfucking real EP.

VictimOfADriveBy (November 20, 2009)

Good but not great EP. Bulletproof Tiger is easily the best song.

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE VINYL PRE-ORDER?!

drugmoney (November 20, 2009)

This record is very good

damo (November 20, 2009)

every AWS album i've struggled to get into except benefits... and this EP is no different. after a month i tend to love the records. i hope this is no different

career suicide is still their best release by a mile. all those who want them to slow down need to give their head a shek

mclz (November 20, 2009)

didn't read the review, a little long for a review just for an EP, don't ya think?

mikexdude (November 20, 2009)

Relax. It's only okay.

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