The Wednesdays - Invisible Youth (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Wednesdays

Invisible Youth (2005)


The last few months have seen a slew of bands sign to Thorp Records; the likes of Holland's Discipline, Drowningman, and the U.S. Bombs have been added to their ever-growing roster, in addition to solid releases from such bands as Angel City Outcasts and Brain Failure. It's more than safe to say that Thorp has been on a roll, but unfortunately for the label, the Wednesdays' Invisible Youth aren't doing their part to keep that forward momentum going.

What starts out strong in the way of opener "You Cannot Fail" quickly starts to fizzle out, struggling not to fade into the background entirely. And to be perfectly honest, I don't know what it is that prevents this record from being as successful as it could be. The Wednesdays seem to have a competent core of musicians, but a lot of the songs never pick up enough momentum to truly be anything worthwhile. With influences cited as the Riverboat Gamblers, the Stooges, and the Clash, it seems to hint at an interesting mix of punk and Southern rock, but what happens instead is confusion. The catchy tunes are overtaken when the band is incapable of finding a comfortable niche, a niche they can truly hit their stride in. It's on and off for the band.

"They Will Hunt Us Down" serves as a great example of the loss of direction that the band seems to be facing. The infectious punk rock spirit that set the record off has given way to a rather down-trodden, muddled attempt at revitalizing Southern rock. It absolutely does not work for the band, and while I do commend their attempt to branch their talents into other styles, they need to focus on picking styles that play well of their talents, because their current choices aren't faring well. If the band would stick to their punk leanings, as found in "One Two Three Four Dracula," what we would have is a much more cohesive and much more focused record that never loses sight of what it's trying to do.

Rounding the album out, the band uses one of their stronger tracks, one that keeps a tremendous rhythm and energy throughout, despite the use of organ that feels out of place. "It's Just Unusual" is short, sweet, and effective, just as everything else could have been. It's frustrating when a band's ambition puts too much on their plate to effectively handle. That's the case with the Wednesdays, and although they seem to be a talented outfit, this album is not the realization of it.