Album Review: WSTR - ‘Identity Crisis’
“Are you in or are you out?” question WSTR and our answer is in. Always in, especially when an album is as good as ‘Identity Crisis’.
If you couldn’t get enough of the WSTR swagger that they displayed in their debut album, the good news is that this new record has even more of it. Mixing in a myriad of different sounds and genres whilst keeping it fundamentally WSTR, ‘Identity Crisis’ is an album that will be welcomed by both old and new fans.
Opening ‘Tell Me More’ brings a headbanging start, as bold riffs fly about and confident vocals blaze through. With a minor melody, there’s a fiery attitude to this track that’s reflected in the ever-moving instrumentals and as Sammy Clifford questions “Are you in or are you out?”, you’ll be left with a clear answer of in. The raucous ‘Crisis’ follows, and there’s a lot of inquiring present in the track. Asking “Can anybody offer me honesty?”, the track acts as a social commentary on the way we present ourselves to the outside world and our external identity. With lyrics that will hit hard and a catchy chorus, this is sure to be a track that will resonate within you for a while.
‘Bad To The Bone’ has a more tongue-in-cheek vibe, as it sees the band displaying a carefree attitude about the rumours spread about them; as they say, “It’s all conspiracy”. With a spine-tingling guitar solo in the bridge, it’s an upbeat track that just exudes brightness and colour. A similar energy dominates ‘Promiscuous’, whilst ‘The Latest’ slows down the tempo slightly but cranks up the snottiness. The groovy ‘Silly Me’ starts with an acoustic version of the chorus, before a single drum hit brings in fiery guitar melodies and emblazened bass lines. It’s a track that demands to be sung-along to, and there’s a lighthearted feeling created.
Bringing a tinge of anger in ‘Fling’, there’s a slight grit to Clifford’s vocal delivery that betrays the angst underlying the track. Helped by sarcastic lyrics such as “I guess I’ll sleep alone instead”, punchy instrumentals hammer home the emotion behind the track. The acoustic ‘See You In Hell’ marks the first acoustic track we’ve heard from WSTR, and it’s accompanied by an unmasked poignancy in the lyricism. Finishing with ‘Riddle Me This’, it’s a truly WSTR-style finish, as they declare “We’re gonna carry on shocking”. ‘Identity Crisis’ presents itself as a maturation and evolution of the band’s sound, and there’s no doubt that big things are coming for them.
Words by Athena Kam