Wardogs - Spread the Disease. [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Spread the Disease. [7 inch] (2008)

Asian Man / Solidarity

Punk rock has always reminded me of films based on comic books. The look is familiar; the characters are something we've become accustomed to; sometimes the story is being retold; and we know how it ends before the opening credits start. Both have had their fair share of awful remakes and cheap cash-ins and whatever the hell you would call The Fantastic Four. However, once in a while a "Dark Knight" comes along and changes everything we thought we knew about the genre. And though the Wardogs debut 7", Spread the Disease., may not rewrite the rules, it does manage to create an enjoyable punk rock popcorn flick.

Spread the Disease. is a quick four-song 7" that serves as an introduction to this Bay Area four-piece of punk rockers. The opener, "Neckline" is an ideal introduction, serving as the best synopsis of the band's overall sound and what to expect (high-energy songs, dual singers and gang vocals). "Fight Back" follows up with a similar them and strikingly reminds me of Wednesday Night Heroes' "Open Fire." The track "Wasteland" is likely going to do little to deteer any Rancid comparisons that might be growing in the listener's mind. The vocals are slightly reminiscent of Lars Frederiksen and the track music/melody is certainly going to seem comfortable to Rancid fans. The last track, "Wake Up!" is actually one of the slower tracks on the 7" (despite the exclamation point). The song is a curveball, sounding more like a Twisted Sister-esque teen anthem than the Wardogs previously street punk-heavy sound. It's a real surprise and kind of an enjoyable closer.

So where does that leave Spread the Disease.? Clearly it's not a genre-bending breakthrough, but it's much more than just a rehashed attempt at an already over-crowded genre. The album is most like "The Incredible Hulk" of punk music (the Ed Norton movie, not the Eric Bana one). Sure, it's not the most breakthrough piece ever made, but it's done well and fans of the genre are surely going to find something to make this well worth the money.