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Album Review: Red, Green Or Inbetween by WSTR

Liverpudlian pop-punk quartet WSTR will release their debut album Red, Green Or Inbetween, on 20th January via No Sleep Records. On the surface this is a standard pop-punk album, think catchy hooks, spiky guitars and lyrics about growing up and girls. Dig a little and you’ll find that his is pop-punk done to the highest standard. Off the back of last year’s SKRWD EP the band were tipped for big things, and this will surely see the band doing just that.

Vocalist Sammy Clifford says, “This album is mainly a breakup album however it’s not a ‘fuck you’ album it’s more a ‘mad at myself’ album. The title, ‘Red, Green Or Inbetween’ is based on being stuck in limbo or in the ‘in-between’. Amber is also the name of a significant friend of mine who most of the songs are about, so it’s a pretty sad boy record. It’s all about kicking myself for not stepping up when I had the chance and coasting through life making bad decisions. Compared to the EP, it’s still very honest but just bigger, better and longer. The artwork is a voodoo doll which is meant to represent me, as I sometimes feel like someone is out to get me with all the bad luck I have. Putting out an album is a big scary step, but it’s been a long time coming and we’re ready to see what the world has to say and hopefully see some more of it too.”

Easy comparisons are going to made to Neck Deep, and to be fair it wouldn’t be without warrant. Like Neck Deep, WSTR have that accessible American pop-punk sound that will appeal to teenagers. Unlike Neck Deep it feels less contrived, less formulated and has more longevity. ‘Footprints’ and ‘Lonely Smiles’ are great songs, immediate and instantaneous. Perhaps that’s the best thing about WSTR, it’s simple and there’s no fucking about – it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. If slightly childish pop-punk is your thing then you’ll love Red, Green Or Inbetween.

As with most pop-punk you can stick the album on and let the hooks and melodies wash over you without being challenged or having to pay that much attention. The big songs like ‘Eastbound and Down’ and ‘The Last Ride’ will grab the attention but the rest of the album is just as good maybe just not as immediate. Spikey and infectious you can easily imagine WSTR becoming massive in 2017.

AD Rating 7/10

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