After demanding the spotlight only in late 2017, Wartoad’s highly anticipated album What Rough Beasts is here and it’s everything you would and wouldn’t expect. Already having a pretty indecent reputation for their Christmas cover of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ and their debut original single ‘I Alone Can Fix It’, we’ve all been left to guess at what chaotic, punk rock rebellion the band’s debut album will be. What Rough Beasts is a musical anthology of anger, bile and talent thrown at everything from Donald Trump to Leonardo di Caprio to druid stone circles; a twelve-track album with promise, protest and profanity aplenty.
Although What Rough Beasts doesn’t include Wartoad’s ‘I Alone Can Fix It’, the song is still one to listen to. For the ill-informed it is a song calling out Donald Trump and his reign as president in a creative, cathartic chaos. The track is less a showcase of the band’s musical talent and more a show of their no bullshit attitude and their goal to strip power from those who don’t know what they are doing with it. Along with their Christmas single, Wartoad are everything punk ever set out to be and What Rough Beasts is just an expansion of this. Wartoad are almost admirable in their rebellion, putting their music and morals before profit and popularity. ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ had the band thrown off their digital outlet for sampling Trump’s voice without his permission whilst Youtube refuses to do business with them due to their excessive use of profanity. What Rough Beasts contains more uncensored wonders like this in the form of ‘Shove It’ and ‘…F*** Off’ which seems to just be an excuse to swear for nearly two minutes. However the album also allows us to appreciate Wartoad for the collection of talented musicians they are.
Lead track ‘I Get High’ is still punk rock as hell but gives an uninterrupted psychedelic-punk party where all the wrong kids showed up. Mixing the more modern sound of Kasabian with the classic of the Stranglers, ‘I Get High’ is a slightly unnerving but completely enthralling introduction into the world of Wartoad. The song almost acts as a warning for anyone brave enough to enter this world, giving an honest portrayal of everything they are and providing absolutely no apologies for it. Even if you don’t agree with what the band stands for (which is dangerous in itself), ‘I Get High’ makes it impossible to not respect them as professional musicians. With the release of the new album, there are talks of a UK tour which is made even more enticing by the possibility of finally finding out the true identities behind Wartoad.
What Rough Beasts is out now, and I recommend you go listen to it before Wartoad break down your door with the album in hand.
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Review by Skye W. Winwood