Wretch Like Me

New Ways To Fall

Wretch Like Me - New Ways To Fall ©1998 Owned & Operated Records
1. Seeing Me
2. Now's The Time
3. Humble Reminder
4. I'm From Nowhere
5. Wriggle
6. Punk Rock Is Big Business
7. Homo
8. Radar Hate
9. Hello Hollywood, This Is David
10. Desire
11. I'm Gonna Wait
12. Elton's Johnson
13. Gone For Good
14. New Ways To Fall
15. Foward Into Grace
16. Freeburger
17. Biggest Dog
18. Girl Leaves Boy, Boy Writes Song
19. To The Guy Who Accosted Me At 45th & University
20. Sleep

Living up to the standards set by their mentors, the Descendents/ALL (whose Stephen Egerton and Bill Stevenson produced this record, along with drummer Jason Livermore), Wretch Like Me rises from the ashes of various projects (My Name, Goodbye Harry, to name a couple) to deliver a slab of punk rock pizza that is sure to taste good when it's hot and only give you slight heartburn when it's not. The band runs right along in the path that has previously been plowed by the aforementioned bands, but is so charged up in their bum-rush that you will never notice that it's not the most original stuff out there. Heavy and powerful guitarwork matched with fierce, energetic drumming and Abe Brennan's right-on yelling propel this along quite nicely. To be honest, I got a bit bored by the end as the songs just never relent (twenty tracks can be excessive if you're not the Minutemen), but then again, this could be a good tape for driving. Extra slices of pepperoni go to the "it's okay" vibe of "Homo" (which make it okay to be just a little gay) and just putting out a record that is going to be fun to listen to.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1998

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Calling All Cars...

Wretch Like Me - Calling All Cars... ©1999 Owned & Operated Records
1. Things Wrong
2. Desperate
3. Alone
4. I Recommend Burning The Bridge
5. Rock Against You
6. Calling All Cars
7. Catherine
8. Silently Violently
9. Tom Phillips
10. Selfishly Devoted
11. MRR
12. Attitude
13. Never Turn Your Back On Rock N Roll
14. Furburger
15. Happy Song

Wretch Like Me should very well be your next favorite punk rock band. In the course of three years when I first saw the embryonic form of the band open for the Descendents in a seedy Ft Collins, Colorado, bar, I have watched this band go from simply good to one of the best live acts currently in existence and continually improving their own abilities. Naturally their rugged touring schedule of the past two years since New Ways to Fall was released has helped honed the band into a much sharper, leaner and meaner machine. Now that we have Calling All Cars..., we can finally have more recorded evidence of how much this band has improved.

The first impression of the CD will immediately let the listener know this band is only getting harder edged with time. There aren't as many happy-go-lucky type anthems that appeared on the debut album. Instead, Abe Brennan leads the band through fifteen angry, aggressive songs. In fact, Abe's singing has gotten much stronger and he tends to remind me a lot of what Henry Rollins might sound like could he carry a tune. Matched with the powerful band behind him, WLM rips through tracks like "Never Turn Your Back on Rock n Roll", "Rock Against You" and "I Recommend Burning the Bridge" with conviction and authority. The title track actually reminds me slightly of Abe and guitarist Trevor Lanigan's old band, My Name, in the slightly offbeat melody line. "Silently Violently" is as bouncy and upbeat as this album gets and is one of my favorite songs here. "Desperate", one of the band's most pleasing live numbers, gets a good studio treatment. Overall, Wretch Like Me has not disappointed me with this record. Having seen this band at least a dozen times in the past year and a half, I can safely say that their live show is top notch and Abe Brennan may in fact be the best frontman around, both in singing ability and stage presence. With that in mind, anyone who likes punk from Black Flag on up to today's fluffier stuff should write Owned & Operated Records to find out how rock should be presented.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1999

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