“It’s like having a massive indie-pop/emo monster stumble out of the bushes, look at you, and start to charge, arms and legs flailing.”
It’s been a long time since we had a substantial release from, Manchester ‘party-emo’ pioneers, Well Wisher. Two tracks on a split with Polina, and a plethora of live shows, was just enough to tide fans over in 2011, but now we have Summer Gangs. The band’s second EP raises the bar set by their debut – their, catchy, upbeat tunes sounding more refined and polished than ever before. In short, this might well be the best thing Well Wisher have ever done.
Starting out understated with ‘Are You Crazy To Come To The Crazy Beach Party?’ (what a gem of a song title!), Summer Gangs builds into this erratic crescendo of sound by the beginning of the second track, before repeating the whole process all over again. It’s like having a massive indie-pop/emo monster stumble out of the bushes, look at you, and start to charge, arms and legs flailing. The EP is capped off with a fantastic cover of Braid’s ‘Breathe In’ – a track originally intended for a tribute to the, no longer late, 90’s emo outfit – which the band have made their own, whilst making their influences abundantly clear.
Summer Gangs shows a clear progression in Well Wisher as a band. Their older material remains fantastic, but everything here – the lyrics, the musicianship, the everything – is a step up. Not only that, but it’s the closest they’ve come to capturing the band’s intense, captivating, live experience and I couldn’t ask for more than that.
You can stream the entire EP over on their Bandcamp.