Wharf Rats

Wharf Rats EP

If hardcore is so rudimentary, how come more bands don’t make music as vibrant and catchy as the debut 7-inch by Wharf Rats? Old school rules as this all-star cast revisit the classic sound of Minor Threat, particularly on the wham-bam-foot-up-your-can musical pugilism of “Capital Gains.” The only disappointment is that there are but two tracks.

Wharf Rats are a collaboration between rapper P.O.S., Anti-Flag bassist Chris #2, guitarist Wade MacNeil (Alexisonfire) and drummer Chachi Darin (ex-the A.K.A.s), hatched on last summer’s Warped Tour. Taking advantage of the wealth of talented musicians with time on their hands, and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (which features a pretty sick mobile studio), they banged out these two incendiary tracks.

“Capital Gains” is a no-brainer as the lead track. It has strong sloganeering to accompany the muscular riffage that lays a stretch of rubber two minutes long. After a brief breakdown 25 seconds in, MacNeil lights upon a choice lick equal parts Johnny Thunders and Chuck Berry that propels the song through a churning mid-song turn-around accelerating into the home stretch, before decaying into a clamorous entropic close that coasts over the an ominous bassline into the horizon. P.O.S. gets off some great lines as he rages against those “dying to drink the Kool-Aid—it always goes down smooth,” confessing, “I envy like hell your lack of conscience,” demanding “expenses paid/And you’ll sign the checks/And the checks that won’t bounce,” as he righteously exclaims, “Where’s the accountability?”

The 97-second “Oh No!” rips off to a quick start with machine-gun drums as P.O.S. rips indifference. “No thoughts of a change/A whole life just wasting away,” he intones, finally asking, “How do you sleep so soundly?” They hit the breakdown like a speed bump around the one-third mark, slowly regaining momentum, building to a fist-shaking final third, as P.O.S. sings, “We lost our way and stand confused, so we move so slowly, oh no, another one and now another one, what the fuck’s with my friends?”

P.O.S. has said in interviews that he’s unsure what will happen next with Wharf Rats citing everyone’s busy schedules, but offering hope that there might be anything from some shows to a full-length. We can only hope that there’s more to come because they’ve certainly whetted the appetite.

No Sleep http://www.nosleeprecs.com

“Capital Gains”