New album: Wisconsin Anger Team || Archie

Much like bread crumbles to draw music fans to their new record, bands nowadays have a go-to strategy to generate excitement around their latest record. Typically, this involves a pre-release schedule: the announcement of the record a few months ahead, the unveiling of a teaser single, followed by subsequent single releases every two to four weeks, often accompanied by engaging (lyric) videos. Even though we wait until the full album is out and our upcoming releases page is full of records we eagerly anticipate, I am perfectly okay with the approach. But still, I have a soft spot for bands without a prominent social media presence, bands that skip the teasing phase and just release their damn thing. Finding a surprise Bandcamp notification of new music by a favorite band never gets old.

Wisconsin Anger Team did exactly that yesterday, releasing their fourth album since their debut in 2021. I missed the first two records, but album #3 was one of my favorites of 2023 – a record I described as a mix of Hüsker Dü at its most melodic, early Green Day and Neutral Milk Hotel. Archie, album #4 is its logical successor. While most bands evolve to a more mature or more polished sound on subsequent records, Wisconsin Anger Team defies such conventions. And rightly so, because there is nothing broken about their sound. And so, if you were as excited about Beyond the Everest Crater II as I was, Archie delivers a similar level of excitement and satisfaction.

From its DIY album cover collage to its 12 anthems, there is just so much to like about this record. Archie is vibrant and lively, an antidote against complacency. It’s volume is in-the-red high, but the songs are all punctuated with melody and passionate and soulful singing. By the time closer Both Sides Of The Shield arrives, Wisconsin Anger Team has loaded all bases and once the acoustic intro breaks at the one-minute break, they knock one out of the park.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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