Wet Blankets - Rise of Wet Blankets (Cover Artwork)

Wet Blankets

Rise of Wet Blankets (2015)

Anti Fade Records

Teenagers loudly jamming guitars in a garage can cause quite a lot of things. Noise complaints? Sure thing. Angry neighbors? You bet. Quality music? Well, that’s not so certain. Fortunately Australia’s Wet Blankets, lead by teenager Zane Gardner, have put together a solid set of fuzzy, scuzzed out tracks on their debut album.

Gardner does nothing to hide his age, as he sings about homework, shoplifting and his boredom with suburbia. This makes it all the more impressive that he is able to create such catchy (and incredibly noisy) garage rock tunes. Owing an obvious debt to Coachwhips and The Reatards, Wet Blankets don’t hold back any of their angst-ridden energy as they blast through short songs mapping out the many different aspects of the suburban nightmare. Of course, all of this is delivered with the expected bratty attitude and juvenile humor that fits this genre like a sweaty glove.

Rise of the Wet Blankets clocks in at a whopping 18 minutes, which is just enough to leave you wanting more. Most of these songs feature a simple guitar riff backed by a driving drumbeat and usually end with a short, but sweet solo guitar line. These 90-second stompers are great, but they’re also a dime a dozen. The excitement can be found in the songs where Wet Blankets stray from the template and branch out a bit. A song like “Sleeptalker,” with its throbbing bass line and screeching guitars, does not lack the energy of the other tracks, yet the band expands their palette a bit with a hooky lead guitar line. “Hobo” is another high intensity example that features the band getting slightly more ambitious with interlocking guitar melodies. These moments really stand out and it’s hard not to get your hopes up about the future of this group.

Wet Blankets seem like your typical suburban teenagers: they go to school, quote The Simpsons and enjoy loud music. Yet, when they get together, they play with a sense of purpose and seem to make serious attempts to push themselves. Hopefully the neighbors think twice before filing that noise complaint the next time Wet Blankets are jamming in the garage.