Just a few months ago we had the pleasure of checking out the Wimps EP, Super Me. Now, the Seattle based, bummed out punk band is at it again with their new album Suitcase. The band’s incredible sincerity is back in full force. Life’s a drag and Wimps has problem telling you.
Suitcase kicks off fairly well. The second track, “Dump,” is a slice of the not good life. The lyrics are simple and catchy, the chorus being, “I live in a dump.” Strings work their way up and down a scale, drums are simple enough. It’s uncomfortable and funny at the same time –like a Kevin Smith film (truth be told, Wimps is probably the perfect band for some sort of Clerks remake). Much of the album plays out the same way.
Some of Suitcases best songs are the most uncomfortable. Take for instance, “Old Guy.” The track utilizes a thumping bass line, distorted and verby chord progressions, and some perfect lyrics; “All the stuff you’ve done I’ve seen a thousand times before … The old guy at the party tonight.” The song breaks into a fury, “No, I’m not your dad, No I’m not the landlord shutting it down, I’m just a man with no plans trying to spend some time at night getting out of the house!” the singer shouts out, “I already drank the wine I brought with me on my way over here.” There’s something very real happening and while the lyrics aren’t super emotional, maybe they’re not even relevant in most instances –they feel a lot more real than the number of kids writing songs about break ups these days. If you asked for another gem off Suitcase –“Couches” might be a fair answer. The song is stellar for most the reason Wimps is great as a band. It’s a mix of goofy guitar lines, solid drum beats, an intense bass, and fun lyrics. Wimps takes on the role of a NatGeo narrator and describes all the wonders of couches. Sound odd? –it is, but it’s great. “Couches” is one of the most unique songs on the album, and easily one of the best.
Honestly I can’t remember not liking Suitcase. From the first listen, there was a major sense of “Yeah, I get that.” It’s just fitting music for the directionless adult. It’s the perfect kind of music for just getting through another damn day. At the same time, this alienates anyone who is still punk and on a mission. Wimps’ Suitcase just isn’t going to be for everyone. The band doesn’t do anything too spectacular and at times it just seems too whiny to be called punk. By no means is Suitcase a blockbuster –it isn’t bad though.
Wimps serves a very specific niche and they do it well. The band strikes out, creating punk jams and mixing them with lyrics that scream, “I was picked last in gym class!” At the same time, Wimps maintains some style from their past EP, Super Me. Their new album isn’t too serious, it’s sweetened just right –perfect.
Suitcase is frustrated, jaded, bored, disappointed, and just getting by –in a good way. Wimps might be just another west coast punk band with a depressing motif, but they probably pull it off better than any other. Wimps’ Suitcase won’t be for everyone but is it a worthy listen? –totally.