The Wednesday Night Heroes - Guilty Pleasures (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Wednesday Night Heroes

Guilty Pleasures (2007)


With the recent signing of Edmonton's Wednesday Night Heroes and subsequent release of Guilty Pleasures, BYO reconfirms their dedication to street punk, having been exploring a bit poppier, yet equally appealing paths to punk rock in bands like the Clorox Girls, Nothington, and Filthy Thieving Bastards. The band's angry yet fun allure will prove enjoyable to most classic punk aficionados while efficiently piss off the majority of non-punk listeners, right-wing conservatives, and what the band calls "redneck cops" (yes, they have rednecks in Canada, too).

The Wednesday Night Heroes are, for comparative purposes, derived from the same breed of hardcore street punk that has produced mainstays like the Forgotten, A Global Threat, the Unseen and Cheap Sex. Where the band deviates is their subtle pop-punk sensibilities that add a warmth that most other hardcore street punk bands don't possess to the otherwise rough-edged sound. The rallying youth anthem "Action," while shouting calls for war on "redneck cops," is a perfect example, chock full of hooks and cheerful, major-scale guitarwork. The title track from the band's 2005 7" Move to Press is a furious slam-along with a catchy, repetitive chorus and equally catchy guitar licks. "Dead End Street," another standout track, rings with positive, nostalgic vibes, as lead singer Graeme MacKinnon describes daily trials and the will to overcome.

The Forgotten-like anthem "Desperation" shows the band's penchant for pointed and brash, yet reflective lyrics: "I'm not criminal and I'm not giving up / Close your mouth and open your ears…lighten the fuck up / You're selling old ways just to make a dollar / It's the mind that makes the man, not the colour of his collar." The record closes with "Not Alone," a song that begins with ominous bell chimes, much like Minor Threat's "Salad Days" and Alkaline Trio's "We've Had Enough." The song is a telling account of the band's ethic: "It's all we got / The hall shows we play and the basements / Where we play…while the debt keeps piling on / And we wouldn't change a thing."

Guily Pleasures is just what the Wednesday Night Heroes needed to break onto the U.S. punk scene with a bang. Their youthful angst, relentless energy, and DIY punk ethic are a perfect fit for BYO, and a welcome addition for anyone who appreciates the punk roots of yesteryear in the young, energetic bands of today.