Wisdom In Chains/SharpShock - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Wisdom In Chains / SharpShock

Split [7-inch] (2020)

Fast Break! Records

This is a cool little split seven inch that feels a bit like a throwback. It features two stylistically different bands, from opposite coasts, each doing an original and a classic punk cover.

Pennsylvania hardcore stalwarts Wisdom In Chains get side A, and kick things off with “Richie’s Revenge”. It actually starts out sort of mellow with some catchy punk rock backing vocals before going full NYHC. It eventually doubles back and finds a good balance between the two sounds. The Epoxies’ “Need More Time” is almost certainly the closest that Wisdom In Chains will ever come to playing new wave. The synth laden sounds border on upbeat. Surprisingly, their take on that style works.

California melodic punk trio Sharp/Shock’s play on words, “The Ploy In Employment”, opens side B. It’s a clever, catchy song that stands in stark contrast to both the chugging heaviness and new wave of the WIC tracks. S/S also contribute their version of the Buzzcocks’ 1978 single “Ever Fallen In Love”. What really needs to be said about this song? It’s already been covered plenty. It was one of the greatest pop punk songs ever written, before pop punk was even a thing. All Sharp/Shock had to do was not screw it up, and they didn’t.

Ultimately, this is an interesting pairing. You would assume that the bands like one another. It’s harder to say if there’s much potential crossover among their fans. Either way, for the open minded at least, the individual parts make for an enjoyable listen.