World War IX - Bender Royale (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

World War IX

Bender Royale (2012)

Dispatches From the Underground

In many respects, punk rock has become too safe. Where a significant purpose of the genre used to be to simply cause havoc for the mere sake of causing havoc, now it seems that for the most park, punk has to either reaffirm political opinions held by those in the punk community, or function as a tool for brotherhood. Those might be noble causes, but in becoming more civilized, in many areas, punk has lost its ability to threaten, and thus, lost its ability to question fastly held concepts through the absurd. World War IX may or may not have the noble purpose of assaulting bastions that may have become too secure, but either by design or by accident, their Bender Royale EP assaults a punk rock that might have become too nice.

Built around three chords and gang vocals, the band cuts through five tunes that seem to be booze- (and maybe coke-) induced rockers that attack everything, without purpose, thereby giving the random attacks purpose. "Sore Winner" starts with an early '80s style hardcore spoken word admonition before calling an unnamed victor an "asshole" simply for winning, while possibly slipping in an attack on the type-A personality, suggesting that no matter how much some people try to win, they can't cover the fact that they suck. "Keyboard Commando" finds the band attacking Internet comments for obvious reasons. "Bender Royale" finds the band, in gang form, shouting "Let's get drunk / Fucked up!" not for the standard, "noble" org-core purpose of friendship, but for the purpose of annihilating one's self and one's surroundings.

"Bender Royale" doesn't radically invent punk, but it does fill the needed gap for nasty, sloppy, reckless abandonment that seems to have declined with the rise of the Internet. Perhaps what is most interesting is that for all the finger pointing the band does, they don't come across as holier-than-thou, if only, because they paint themselves as a bunch of wasted jerks…with a sense of humor. The old adage is that "Out of the mouth of babes oft times comes gems." Well, to further the analogy, "Out of the mouth of drunk wastoids comes unrestrained opinion." Thank goodness for that.