Drexel - What Went Wrong (Cover Artwork)


What Went Wrong (2003)

Fork in Hand

What Went Wrong continues and further pushes the template laid down from Drexel's previous album, The Inevitable Is Available. What Went Wrong is bittersweet because the band broke up only a few months after it was released. Drexel featured members of Big D and the Kids Table, Frank Smith, the Lot Six and the Sharking. From being in so many bands simultaneously, it is no wonder the band ended when it did.

Like the previous album, there is a lack of track names. A lack of liner notes. The sequel mentality is further established with the same cover and CD art from the previous album--just in a different color (blue). All of these efforts scream, "just listen to the music." And that motto pays off.

Starting things off fast, Track 1 starts to build and then explodes in a fury of guitar and drums. Things slow down and then speed up again. The trade-off vocals between Marc and Aaron creates a dynamic that Drexel does very well. The drums are fast and tight. The bass is low and booming. And the guitars cut like a razorblade.

Track 2 is a lumbering post-punk song that reminds me of early Fugazi. The epic track pushes over seven minutes and changes tempos midway through. It sounds almost like a mishmash of two separate songs but they transition into each other so effectively that you can't imagine them being anything but one epic journey.

One thing that is missing from What Went Wrong is some levity. The middle song, Track 5 is the only time Drexel takes a breather, ambling along on pseudo-reggae pop. The track is much needed and very appreciated. But that is about the only respite there is. This might have been the angle Drexel was going for considering how deliberately claustrophobic and punishing the album can get.

Track 7 is an anthemic tune, where co-singer Aaron screams the chorus, "Yea... We won't wait, we won't!", and with what sounds like the band taking turns with each word, yelling/chanting, "We!...won't!...wait!" Such a ripping and sprawling song satisfies my hardcore and prog fascinations.

Drexel continues to employ random bits of audio in between songs as well, creating a real homemade mixtape vibe.

Track 8 is brutally fast--i.e., classic Drexel. The tone of the song, however, is decidedly scary as Aaron sings the chorus, "It's your job... It's your job to be afraid. Every night... Every night and everyday." Great juxtaposition.

Track 9 is another epic track that ends with a cacophony of noise from the band and various found sounds before petering out, ending the album and career of one of Boston's greatest bands. Wish we could have seen where they were going to go next.