WAG - No Worries (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


No Worries (2014)


WAG is a fairly unusual rock band these days in that they don't have one genre as much as they tossed them into a blender: rock, country, blues, punk, all of them mixed together with the sludge of 90s rock, so the songs can go from slow to fast fairly quickly. This is a rock n' roll band with a slightly stoner feeling, and a good one at that. Lucas Nevria's raspy, bluesy vocals are a perfect fit for the band, as his voice works with every which way the songs go, and the rhythm section is tight and well fused together. I've never liked San Francisco music for the most part save for some of the garage bands (more of an East Bay guy), but WAG is a band of scrappy, talented guys who know how to take the positives of grunge music and work them into slacker folk.

The Nirvana and Pavement comparisons bandied around are well—founded (like the huge instrumental sounds in "Shed"), though WAG is a lot more fun than Nirvana. The songs are heavy and sometimes angsty ("So bring back the guillotine so I know how it ends up for me"), but they're more contemplative, like the anxiety you get in the middle of being way too damn high. Anarchist references pop up, but these aren't heavily political songs (not that grunge—style music ever has been). Sometimes there's joy (like "Grappling in California", a rhythmic shuffle where Lucas yelps about "blood in the sink and cops at the door" like he was born for that moment), a lot of times the feelings of being a fuck up, but either way, the focus is trying as hard as you can to find the good in life even when it's a little dirty.

I definitely had my issues with parts of this album. If you're not into the blues sound (and these guys are obvious fans of Jack White), don't bother checking it out — some of the guitar can get grating if you don't love blues—rock guitar, especially on the end of "Tin Crown". I also wished sometimes that the sound was more gritty and more of a live rock record, especially when I've seen these guys live a few times (though their playing is absolutely solid throughout here). It's very clean, which is admirable, but maybe not necessary. Nevertheless, WAG is a good young band who have made an absolutely promising, vital album. and if you want a great rock song, "40 Proof" is one of their best. The drums hit a certain point and then the sucker just soars.