Bastards Of Young/Success/Civil War Rust/Western Settings
Release date: October 15, 2015
Pop punk is in many ways the fast food of rock music. It’s always incredibly deep, but it just keeps me coming back. The fast paced, four chord, sing along chorus approach can be served vegan style a la NOFX, or with meaty riffs like the Dwarves. No matter how you like it, pop punk is fun music for good times, and this four-way split offers up four servings of caffeine-fueled punk. Bastards Of Young, Civil War Rust, Success, and Western Settings each offer one song of catchy, in your face music that shows where the genre is going and who’s doing it right (Wiretap Records – that’s who’s doing it right, in case you were wondering).
Bastards Of Young kick things off with “Boys Like Girls.” This mid-tempo punk rock brings together melody and a sing-along chorus in a way that reminds me of a more mature Good Charlotte. There’s a great flow to this song, building from the verse into a huge chorus. Following this track with “Ricky And Me” by Success emphasizes the wide range encompassed in the genre. Opening with a guitar riff and pace reminiscent of the Suicide Machines’ debut, and vocals that sound a bit like Dave Smalley (All, Down By Law), it’s not too long before some Allman Brothers style dual lead guitar kicks in. The song ends with possibly the worst acapella version of “Happy Birthday To You” I’ve ever heard. All in all, side A of Burrito Wars is a complete success.
Side B opens with the thick riffing of Civil War Rust. “Jump Rope” falls somewhere between the perfect pop of Blink 182 and the more muscular moments of NOFX. The track has a drive that doesn’t let up and keeps the listener bopping along all the way to the end. Western Settings closes this collection with “Brain Wars.” I love this track. This song captures everything that was good about 90s punk bands like Lagwagon and Piebald who were able to express a range of emotions in the structure of a three-minute song without sacrificing power, all while creating a gripping song that brings the listener into the band’s world. Western Settings ties up Burrito Wars in a way that leaves me wanting more.
It seems like everything Wiretap Records touches turns to gold. As of yet I’ve not heard a single poor release from this label and Burrito Wars is no exception. Each of these songs makes me want to go buy records by the bands presented on this release. Well done, Wiretap! When it comes to punk rock, you’re winning the war!
Reviewed by Jim 1340