Founded by Rage Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford, Wakrat is the self-titled debut album from the trio. There’s no denying expectations that this could prove to be Rage 2.0. Thankfully, that isn’t the case, but there is plenty here to keep those fans happy.
The album is nine tracks of politically-charged high-energy punk rock built upon majestic, complex and quite unique riffs. The kind that will keep those RATM fans salivating. Album opener ‘Sober Addiction’ is the perfect example of their riff-heavy driving sound while ‘The Number’ is more complex containing math-rock style patterns. The vocals are stern and delivered through simple melodies reminiscent of Jawbox-era J. Robbins. All the better for picking out Tim Commeford’s “fuck the system” lyrical content. Recent single ‘Generation Fucked’ is the album pinnacle. It encapsulates all of Wakrat’s strengths into one three and a half minute blast!
‘Nail In The Sand’ along with the likes of ‘La Liberte Ou La Mort’ and ‘The Thing’ mark a slight departure from the riffy punk and is where Wakrat explore more alt-rock creative stylings. Then there’s ‘Knucklehead’ which bares the strongest similarities to RATM.
The album isn’t over-produced and keeps a raw, almost live feel. The trio have very strong punk ethics and are very much about delivering their political-angst messages through their music. This relation of live versus recorded sound is important for Wakrat and is part of what makes the album work.
The important thing to remember is that Wakrat may at times sound like that guy in the band’s other band, but they are very much their own entity. This self-titled debut is one of the most original alternative punk releases in a long time, and it should be judged for what it is and what is stands for, rather than who is in the band.
‘Wakrat’ by Wakrat is released on November 11th on Earache.
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Words by Tom Drakett (@tomdrakett)