POZ Review: A Wilhelm Scream - Partycrasher
by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Naming your last studio LP Career Suicide and then maintaining a fairly uneventful six-year silence doesn’t provide much room for ambiguity: A Wilhelm Scream seemed to have sounded their final death knell. However, 2013 finds A Wilhelm Scream crashing the party once again with their aptly titled sixth LP Partycrasher that once again showcases the quintet’s innate ability to blend bruising hardcore with captivating melodies, all wrapped up in an individual style all their own.
“We are the noisemakers, the modern wayfarers. There’ll be no guts or glory,” vocalist Nuno Pereira shouts during opening track “Boat Builders’” energetic chorus, announcing A Wilhelm Scream’s place as the seminal punk rock journeymen that they are. In standard A Wilhelm Scream fashion the band wastes no time cranking things up to 11 and barreling ahead at breakneck speed, with Nicholas Angelini’s furious bass drum kicks pushing the entire song to its limits.
After the punishing “The Last Laugh,” Partycrasher really comes into form with “Devil Don’t Know,” the album’s most dazzling example of A Wilhelm Scream’s guitar virtuoso. “Devil Don’t Know” perfectly represents this album; the juicy melodic hooks will grab you by the ears, immediately accompanied by a sonic rush of blood to the head, culminating in a 100-volt musical shock to the heart — not enough to kill you, but enough to let you know you’re alive.
Embedded into the lyrics of “Devil Don’t Know” are a series of allusions to classic rock staples, all of which come off as an almost tongue-in-cheek nod to prior decades. Pereira drops lines about “After Midnight (Eric Clapton),” “Running with the Devil (Van Halen),” and even “Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young).” However, all these references are outshined by the song’s near-perfect chorus of, “I decided long ago to throw these years away. I used to be in misery, but no more. I know I’ve been a sinner, but that’s just my history. The devil don’t know I’m dead yet!”