Release Date: 20th April
Label: Plasterer Records
Terror is the seventh full-length release by Wonk Unit, nine years after their debut release Flying The Japanese Flag. Despite it being only seven months after their last release, Wonk Unit are already back with a new album and the musical development even since then is overt. The dedication these London punks have to their music is truly remarkable.
The first track on the album,‘Day Job Wanker’, opens the album with an electronic backing and hip-hop vocals not dissimilar to emerging artist Rat Boy. Although the song is lacking lyrically, with the two lines ‘get a fucking day job’ and ‘day job wanker’ simply blaring on repeat, there is a nice guitar riff and a solid drum line in the background. It would be nice for these instruments to be more prominent through.
A more groovy vibe emerges with ‘Ride It Out’. The upbeat summer-y riff is a significant improvement from the first track and with a strong guitar line, the chorus brings an element of power which is greatly welcomed. The faster tempo makes this a great song to dance along to and resembles what you’d expect to hear on the soundtrack of an Xbox racing game.
Opening with a church organ, progressing into a reggae/ska-style rhythm, then adding the Cockney vocals,’Thank You’ has an extremely eclectic sound.Unfortunately, the sum of these parts does not quite live up to how good they sound individually. Another track just missing the bar is ‘Hope’. It has a more stripped back sound designed to tell the depressive story of a drug addict. Deeply emotive with a melancholic tone sustained throughout, there is no lift though and could have used some more layers added throughout the duration of the song.
Contrasting to this depressive tone, ‘Judas Betrayers’ really amps up the volume with a proper rock song. The heavy pop-punk instrumental with a bold drum beat and a catchy guitar riff is complemented fantastically by the rough vocals. This sound lends itself tremendously to Wonk Unit and is a great example of the band’s talent. All the elements of this song fit together fluidly and this is by far the stand out track of the album. Following suit to ‘Judas Betrayers’, ‘Faith’ is another great song which would be fantastic to mosh to. Although overshadowed a little by the strength of its predecessor, this song is still sure to be a crowd-pleaser when played live and is one of the best tracks on the album regardless.
Concluding the album comes ‘Me And Curtis’. This song is like a recap of their song ‘Christmas In A Crack House’ as I recycles the lyrics, however with a stronger punk sound. The more jagged and pained vocals coupled with the guitar-led song are complemented by the more outlandish lyrics which are almost comically dark. Rolling many of Wonk Unit’s best assets into one seems an extremely fitting way to round off Terror.
All in all, Wonk Unit come across as a band that don’t take themselves too seriously, but in a way which works in their favour. Although the lyrics could use some improvement, there are some fantastic songs on Terror including ‘Judas Betrayers’ and ‘Faith’. With the second half of the album by far superseding the first half, this album may have been better received as an EP. But, once Wonk Unit found their sound, they fully embraced it and have produced some fantastic tunes. There is a lot of potential in these songs, it’s just a shame it took half an album for it to shine through.
Recommended Track: Judas Betrayers