WACO – Rock Spirit Absolute Joy

Our fascination with UK rockers WACO began in 2019 through the introduction to his latest outfit by drummer Craig Welsh, ‘Welshy ‘as all called him previously being part of the criminally unrecognised pop punk trio TOP BUZZER. Curiosity and anticipation swiftly and inevitably arose and was immediately rewarded with the exploration of WACO’s debut album Human Magic. It struck a chord with its punk bred hunger and imagination, theirs an ear grabbing proposition in varied and hungry sound soon cemented in prowess and adventure by successor Hope Rituals a year later. Now the band is back with their long awaited third full-length and fair to say if you have been excited by their exploits previously be ready to boil over with Rock Spirit Absolute Joy.

Since day one, WACO have uncaged a sound which draws on every aspect of punk rock you can imagine and plenty more. Pop, noise, psych punk and more were embroiled in its antics and similarly the band was keen to venture into other rock flavours by the song let alone release. With a title which perfectly sums up the band’s music and creativity, indeed the inherent need and energy within all rock fans, Rock Spirit Absolute Joy turns the kaleidoscope of genres and hues brought into the band’s punk kilned enterprise even further. Name a style and it is in there somewhere yet still the quintet cast an inimitable sound solely and recognisably theirs and an arousing engagement of body and spirit which leaves you exhausted and grinning wildly. It is also a title which summed up the band’s late bassist Chris Cowley and you can only feel his spirit still as much an influence on the alacrity and spirit of the record.

Produced by Steve Sears, Rock Spirit Absolute Joy strides in with a confident air bearing potent lures; opener Millionaire straightaway waving a wand of enterprise amid rhythmic bait. It quickly settles into an infectious stride, the guitars of Tom Pallot and James Robinson casting a web of sonic tempting as the rhythmic invitation of bassist Ian Crook and Welsh offers its own contagious incitement. Just as keenly the vocals of Jak Hutchcraft join the affair, his tones akin to GRAHAM PARKER in many ways and as animated in word as in energy. Dreaming of better times and a pleasure bearing life, the track is a rousing start to the release but just the beginning of the enlivening fun.

The World follows, drama soaking its first touch and flowing through its subsequent pop punk fertile landscape. Again, there is an instinctive swing to the WACO sound which hungrily got under the skin being quickly joined by its euphoric rock inclinations before twists brought great unpredictability and melodic flirtation. It is a glorious uproar escalating the great start to the album which is further pushed by Elevation. With an eighties new wave/rock pop nature to its virulence, the song similarly had body and throat involved, playing with lusty attention like an old friend with fresh exciting inclinations as it contemplates being  trapped in “a sick society.”

Psych punk shimmers light up the following Seventeen, its mesmeric and plaintive lament as haunting as it was instinctively catchy, the band’s pop prowess again fuel to the mercurial captivation as all the while great volatility brews and emerges in emotion and breath before Barry Gibb Was My Landlord romped in to greedily grab favourite song honours. Power and galvanic revelry surges from the first second of the song, its ode to the lesser known social goodness and kindness of the property owner Bee Gee a clamour of punk pop prowess and untamed rock ‘n roll dexterity. Dare we say you will not hear a finer, spirit and body rousing song this year? Yes we dare.

With barely a breath allowed, the outstanding Better Place soon shared its psych lit ruminations, another track viral in its catchiness and animated enterprise. The song brings a touch of Teardrop Explodes to its pop agility as an anthemic canter drives it at its most urgent while The New Wave of British Denim uncages a minute and a half of noise punk rabidity which equally had the walls and all within rapaciously bouncing. Both tracks joined the established lofty landscape of the album with ease as too successor, Next Romance, a participation evoking acoustic centred ballad of pure infection.

The release closes out scorching the air; firstly through Hardships Will Happen, an inflamed slice of pop punk with a predacious appetite to get all it enters equally roaring in defiance of things which get in the way of plans and hopes. As that participation inflaming track, its successor is rock ‘n’ roll clamour at its most skilled and inspiriting, Flip Forever a nagging of craft and punk ‘n’ roll incitement from rhythm and melody to voice and word; a track to leave the ears ringing and an urgent want to go again urgent.

Rock Spirit Absolute Joy is simply one of the best galvanic uproars of 2022, a release which, whether you are a rock wallflower or an engine of forward energy, will have you roaring in unison and lusty pleasure.

Rock Spirit Absolute Joy is out now via Venn Records; available digitally and on Ltd Ed coloured vinyl (300) and CD (100) @ https://wacoband.bandcamp.com/album/rock-spirit-absolute-joy

http://www.wacoband.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Wacouk/   https://twitter.com/wacobanduk

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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