Monday, 13 February 2017

Album Review: Breaking by Cold Wrecks

Cold Wrecks are a four piece punk band from Brooklyn, New York. Last July (yes, I'm very late to the party again) they released their album Breaking. Finding the band on Spotify, the related artist section linked them with bands such as RVIVR, The Holy Mess and Signals Midwest. Cold Wrecks are clearly going to be a band that I love.

The first track on Breaking is named Price. Beginning with some dramatic guitar effects underneath some vocals, that slightly remind me of the guy from Modern Baseball, the track starts slowly. As Price moves forward it gradually begins to get a bigger sound. I think this was a great choice for the opening song on the album as it eases you in slowly to what Cold Wrecks are all about. Up next is Kids. Picking the tempo up from Price, Kids is a foot stomping sing-a-long from the outset. The track is about growing up privileged but feeling bad for not knowing what terrible things are happening in the world. The chorus of "We're Selfish Kids, We're Oblivious" should get a whole crowd shouting along with the band. Following Kids we have Suburbs. Suburbs is about growing apart and feeling different from the place where you grew up. This is a first class pop punk song with plenty of ups and downs, changes in tempo and melody - and it's so unbelievably catchy. I loved the lines "I'm Just Trying To Flush The Suburbs From My Blood, And I'm Scared That You're The Person I'll Become." Letters is a song that allows Cold Wrecks' singer to really explore his vocal range, switching from a nice pop style to a more shouty sound. These two different styles mesh really well together on the track. Musically it's an extremely danceable song that will have you swaying along from the opening chords.

The fifth track on Breaking is titled Drawbridge. My first thoughts when I heard the song was how much it reminds me of early Menzingers. It's a well written and structured pop punk sound with a fantastic raw and intense quality to it. Drawbridge is about going after someone you have a crush on and one day working up the courage to say something despite knowing it could all go horribly wrong. The song ends on a massive finale with a loud drum beat and some gang vocal shouts of "When I Said I Love You, You Said I Hope So." Friends is about feeling like you should miss the people that you used to know but actually not doing so. Despite the kind of sad subject matter the song really feels quite upbeat and happy. More so than anything else on the album so far, the gang vocals and harmonies really come into play and add to the track. I think this also adds to the joyousness of the song. The seventh song, Heaves, starts out slow before, after a little hesitation, we get a big hook line. On Heaves, Cold Wrecks have again written a song with plenty of changes in tempo and melody that really shows off the band's musical skills. The song is about feeling like everything around you is falling apart and having to medicate because of that. Up next is one of my favourites on Breaking, the song Sad. It's a shorter song that doesn't quite make the two minute mark but during that time Cold Wrecks pack a lot in. One section of the song in particular really stood out to me, it's a fast paced lyrical section that sounds like there are two vocalists involved riffing off of each other. (I could be wrong). There is a lot of energy here that I really loved.

The ninth song on Breaking is named Down and features the vocal talents of Freya Wilcox of the band Freya Wilcox & The Howl. The addition of Wilcox on this song allows for some great back and forth vocals on the song, giving Cold Wrecks sound an extra element. Down is about letting somebody down and it being clear that it is about to happen. Fistfight is one of the slower, softer songs on the album. This is a nice change of pace, allowing the band to show more of an emotional side to their sound. Fistfight talks about taking a chance and being prepared to go down swinging. I particularly enjoyed the jangly guitars that are used throughout the song. With previous sadder songs on the album they've still felt quite upbeat, this certainly wasn't the case with Fistfight. The penultimate song on Breaking is named Montreal. From the opening guitar riffs Montreal is a much more rambunctious affair. It still has the slower moments that are littered across Cold Wrecks' songs but for the most part Montreal just doesn't slow, breathing a whole lot of life into the ending of the album. Montreal is about remembering a time spent away and all the wonderful memories you made before you sadly had to leave. Finally we have the song Broken to bring Breaking to an end. This is a mid-tempo song that really comes alive towards the end of the track with some great gang vocal harmonies. I imagine that this is also the traditional Cold Wreck set closer with the whole crowd shouting "Distract Me" along with the band. An excellent way to finish the album.

I wish someone had shown me Cold Wrecks and Breaking a lot sooner. This was a fantastic album from start to finish. If you're a fan of The Menzingers, PUP and Modern Baseball, and let's face it who isn't, then you will absolutely love this album.

Stream and download Breaking here:

Like Cold Wrecks here:

This review was written by Colin.