Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Album Review: Wasted Already by Contra Code


Wasted Already is the new album from Vancouver based punk rockers Contra Code. Originally released in September of 2015 it has just be re-released through Florida's Bird Attack Records.


The opening song on Wasted Already is called Screwtape and is a very fast, technical, melodic punk song. The vocals really stood out on this song; more gruff and aggressive than I'm used to hearing with this genre of punk rock. A fun way to kick the album off. Road Rash shows of the bands skills with guitars, playing some ridiculously fast and technical guitar solos throughout the song. There is so much intensity in this music and it really gets my heart going. The use of gang vocals at the end of the song really gives a great feeling of everyone being equal and will get a audience shouting back at the band as loudly as they can. The third song - Pickabar - sees lead singer Paul Sarrazin lay down some incredibly quick vocals to begin the song. This really made the song catch my attention from the beginning and from then on I loved the song more and more. If I were to go to gyms this would be the song I'd put on my playlist. The energy omitting from the track is infectious.

Red Ass had me throwing my fists in the air pretty much instantly. The vocals are delivered in more of a held back style than on the previous songs and the music is not played at the breakneck speed I've become accustomed to so far. It still manages to pack the same punch though, a testament to the bands song writing skills. The fifth song on Wasted Already is See Saw. The rapid fire drum roll at the start of the song before the gruff shout of "A Punch To The Face" starts the song. Lovely, metaphorical lyric intended or not. The passion and energy that comes from Sarrazin really stands out and the gang vocals for the finale "Home Is WHERE THE HEART IS!" is brilliant. Iron Herd sees Contra Code return to the 100mph technical punk rock. It's only a short song but is very memorable. No second is wasted as they burn through the track. The eighth song is titled Kill and takes you on a ferocious musical rollercoaster. Amongst a master class of musicianship there is a lovely mix of vocal styles, giving you a sense of what's coming next. In the same song Sarrazin manages to go from soaring skate punk to hardcore howl and everywhere in between.

The song Concrete has a great stop start approach with the opening vocals, switching between gang and single vocals. The track is a positive song about taking control of your life by not taking things too personally. There is a fantastic shift in key during the chorus giving the song a pop punk sound amongst the aggressive skate punk. Up next is Snap Crackle. Snap Crackle is a track that features a whole load of tempo changes throughout, giving it a fun and interesting sound. I'm completely in awe of the bands musical ability here, playing as fast as they do and switching between styles so effortlessly is really impressive. The penultimate song is titled Time Lapse, beginning with even more fast paced technical guitars, I'm more and more amazed with every song. This is one of the more accessible songs on Wasted Already, leaving the shouts at home and focussing solely on the melodic vocals. I like the lyrics "Rise Up, Take Back The Airwaves, Reach Out For Tales Of Our Lives". The final song on Wasted Already is named Impressed. I was very "Impressed" with this track; it’s a good way to finish the album as it gives you a bit of everything from Contra Code without ever feeling clustered. 

Contra Code are a very talented band. Punk rock musicians are not given anywhere near enough credit for the skill that they play their instruments and that's a great shame. If you want an album that will get your heat pounding, your fists flying and your head banging whilst being truly amazed by some musicianship you could do much worse than checking out Wasted Already.

Stream and download Wasted Already here: https://birdattackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wasted-already

Like Contra Code here: https://www.facebook.com/contracode