I’ve never understood why moody postpunk bands like Protomartyr and Fontaines D.C. are such critics darlings and tend to end up in a lot of AOTY lists. Okay, Fontaines D.C. have some songs I like, but for the most part bands like that are too bleak or too boring for me. Basically, I have trouble connecting with them, which, of course, is a matter of personal taste – or more likely, a lack of complexity in my taste palet. But every now and then, there is a band that manages to pull off moody and complex postpunk in a way that I can fully get behind. Take Waste Man from New Orleans. On their second LP (One Day It’ll All Be You) they take punk and hardcore in new directions without losing any of the thrill of actual punk music.
Waste Man offer tempo variations, edgy bass lines and excellent guitar riffs. They constantly keep you on the tip of your toes with the unpredictability in their songs. It’s a record full of surprises that offers thrills, excitement, and cathartic releases that I often find to be lacking in this kind of music. Album opener The Siren is a good example of the many sides of Waste Man, where danceable postpunk verses and hardcore punk choruses bounce off each other. Run All Night is one of the most catchy songs on the record, which distantly sounds like a mashup between the Stooges and Thin Lizzy. Proofreaders, Singles, And Philosophers is one of the most exciting songs released in 2021, and already is one of my favorites of the year. And then there is album closer Wishful Thinking, in which Waste Man introduce the power rock ballad to the postpunk world. Quite the week for Feel It Records, who simultaneously released that excellent Spread Joy record.