Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Album Review: Derailer by Sic Waiting


Sic Waiting are a punk rock band from Oceanside, California. Last October (yes, yet again I'm late to the party) they released a new album on Felony Records named Derailer.


The album opens with a song called Active Alumni. The song starts quickly, which is always a good way to grab your attention. This is fast-paced punk rock in the style of No Use For A Name and Useless ID, which I'm a big fan of. As you might expect the song has plenty of hooks and a catchy chorus. Home Is Where You Hit Your Head begins with some harder in tone guitars before the vocals begin. These feel more serious than on Active Alumni and also a lot more thoughtful. The music is what really stood out for me on this track with some great guitar work all through the song. The third track - Lies Are For Living - has a fairly subdued start. The tempo picks up slightly as the song progresses but always feels like something is being held back. Things get a bit more bouncy for the bridge before a fantastic guitar lead breakdown and quite an uplifting ending to the song. It feels like the song takes you through a range of emotions without really doing much. I don't know how Sic Waiting did that.

War Is The Answer is another track with some awesome guitar playing. This up-tempo song is a real foot stomper from start to finish. Lyrically I'm reminded of Rise Against, with the line "Help Is On The Way". This is followed up with the song The Best Mistakes You Make. This song was the stand out on my first listen of Derailer. It starts out slowly with some restrained vocal delivery and lyrics about changing but still being the same. The chorus is a huge one that will have your undivided attention and have you screaming at the very top of your lungs. The Sell is a track that manages to take you back to the heyday of 90's skate punk whilst maintaining a modern feel with some great technical guitars. The tempo is fast and gets my heart beating a little faster and there are some great heavy breakdowns that get my head banging. Track number seven is titled A Red House And Bones. This song is much of a slower tempo rock song. I like the simplicity in the guitars, Sic Waiting show that not only can they really shred with some complicated chords, but they can also take things back and still have interesting melodies. I feel like this song would work amazingly well in a big stadium as it has a huge sound.

The eighth song, The Salesman, starts out simply with the lyrics "Is There Something To Be Said, For Beating A Horse When It's Dead, Or Beating Out The Demons In Your Head". They are delivered in a way that really grabs your attention, starting with a slow, emo style before launching into some melodic skate punk. This is a song with some fantastic hooks that carry the song forward and give it a fresh feel. The penultimate song on Derailer is named In Compatible Love. In Compatible Love is a fun pop punk song that could easily find its way onto a montage from an American summer teen film. It's upbeat (musically) and so wonderfully catchy. The tenth and final song on the album is named Maps. It begins with some great guitar playing that builds into some explosive vocals and is delivered in a punchy fashion that gives the song a high tempo feeling before switching into a more tuneful and melodic style on the chorus. A very strong final song.

Derailer feels like a bit of a throwback album but with many modern twists. Sic Warning have borrowed sounds from influences such as No Use For A Name and Useless ID and added their own, fast paced and technical spin to create a very fresh sounding album.

Stream and download Derailer here: https://felonyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/derailer

Like Sic Waiting here: https://www.facebook.com/sicwaiting