Western Addiction – Frail Bray LP (Fat Wreck Chords)

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Western Addiction came a long way since their formation in 2003. Each new record is a shift towards darker melodic old school hardcore punk sound for these San Francisco, California natives. The group shaped up a recognizable sound that unquestionably stands out from the remainder of the Fat Wreck roster. To serve as a reminder, Western Addiction has previously released a couple of full-length recordings such as Cognicide in 2015, and Tremulous in 2017. Before, after and in between came along loads of singles and extended plays such as Remember To Dismember, Pines, I’m Not The Man That I Thought I’d Be, Europe Tour EP, and They Burned Our Paintings. The band also appeared on several split releases such as one with New Mexican Disaster Squat, then Fat In The New including bands like The Flatliners, Good Riddance and Night Birds. The band has also been inserted on a split record with toyGuitar, The Sorority, and Jungle Cat. However, none of these aforementioned recordings came near their latest album. Like a vast portion of the bands, Western Addiction also ripens like a fine wine. The aging process left a huge imprint on the group, and they sound more genuine than ever. By properly regulating their style, I came to the conclusion that Western Addiction was profoundly inspired by the old school hardcore right from the start of their career, but they gradually supplemented other ingredients during this evolutive process. Perhaps, the darkened version of the eighties Californian hardcore punk is their weapon of choice, but you may detect elements of ferocious punk rock, gritty rock’n’roll throughout the album, even a bluesy feel along the way. Western Addiction sticks to an already proven formula that rages throughout the entire recording with simplistic, threatening, precise, but on-point guitar shreddings that saturate the overall ambiance with gloomy melodies. These guitar works have been enhanced by chunky sounding basslines, which are equally hearable on each composition. Alongside with a very dynamic drumming performance, these basslines are the bone-crushing foundations of Western Addiction. All these orchestrations have been covered by powerful lead shout outs that are gripping the corresponding levels of assault through the complete recording. It seems like the Frail Bray displays even more harmonizations as the compositions are passing by, but the band grips the sole hostility as the main source of inspiration. Frail Bray is an uncompromising direct punch in the face that comes without any warnings and certainly refuses to apologize after these drastic actions. This record is a definite necessity if you cherish some bluesy rock’n’roll aesthetics over pure old school hardcore punk articulation. Frail Bray has been distributed on vinyl by Fat Wreck Chords, and it serves as a bit of refreshment, considering that Western Addiction outstands most of the Fat Wreck catalog with their ferocious approach to the genre.

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