Wet Specimens-Over Pale Bodies album review By Mark J. FFO: Blazing, ridiculously perfect D-beat/HC/Post Punk masterpieces.


Wet Specimens-Over Pale Bodies album review By Mark J. FFO: Blazing, ridiculously perfect D-beat/HC/Post Punk masterpieces.

A few years back the mighty raw punk/D-beat band Neutron Rats finished up, and the ashes were blended with members of another wonderful punk band Mystery Girl to form the glorious clever Wet Specimens band. All releases sink very deep into your brain, riffy and moody punk catchy gems. What makes Wet Specimens so damn magnificent is how they wildly and so effectively mix blazing crust/D-beat/Japanese-inspired HC with that 80's deathrock/punk style, often a touch of TSOL/Christian Death meets melodic 80's OC HC i.e. D.I./Agent Orange/Adolescents/Vandals etc. The band have had several stunning releases since inception and all are worth listening to and buying in any format. But Over Pale Bodies is an unforgiving and energy-packed classic that is essential and a ripping album.

This mind-blowing album has 13 robust tracks and is quite an adventure, it is tangential in the best way. This writer adored it, Wet Specimens astutely combines a few brilliant genres or key influences into a riotous rollercoaster of vitriol. Above the Catacombs is a cracking opener that tips its head to many horror-style vibes across the release, no not in a wanky Misfits way(although I love that band) but from a gloomy yet party vibe of the previously mentioned OC County hardcore greats. But at the same time, it has a shoegaze tone, and that clash is awesome. Often this album has that tussle between hardcore, crust/D-beat and post-punk, and that my friends that is phenomenal. Samples and noise punctuate in between songs and within the tracks themself; this effort and the added atmosphere is the difference between the average and the extraordinary. Australian bands such as Geld and Enzyme use out-of-the-square techniques and added flair to knock their music into the stratosphere.

Here Lies the Abyss, Bed of Nails, Phobias, the Effigist and Early Grave are all raging and distorted bangers that slice through any musical boredom, just let the audio violence dissolve your brain away with mad use of distortion, mayhemic drums, punishing bass and insane riffs.

Add to the mix probably the best lyrics I have read in ages check these lyrics from the Last Iron Lung:

Sleeping in the eye of the storm 
The cry of a future being born 
Relics of inanity 
Cast out and scattered like leaves

 Eating words like broken glass 
Drawing breath and drowning in the past 
Sedated by a world collapse 
The dying light of a burnt out synapse 

Words falling limp from the tongue
 Like tears on the last iron lung 
A corpse ignored face down in the street
 No one reacts and the cycle completes

Absolutely magical style and creative genius present. Plus this track is a highlight with eerie and grim guitar work and brilliant vocal action. The searingly raging tracks are easy to approach and bang your head or punch the walls with, but the highlights are the weirdest moments that I adored. The title track is very stompy but has a wild almost Wire meets early anarcho-punk style, it is unchained but the song structure is astonishing effective and smart. Similarly, Cold Earth has Deathrock/punk in spades, and how amazing is that vocal refrain and that main attacking riff. Incredible work!. Wet Specimens cram all the finest tasty magic in the vein of His Hero is Gone into Discorporation with some added sweet sprinkles of the finest Japanese D-beat on top. Cadaver Synod is a deep cut that is grating, moody and entrancing; just so essential and the noise effects on this are sensationally perverse. 
Cursed Ethic is a classic song that was originally on the band's demo in 2018 and still resonates as an overblown and grandiose all-in-brawl of a track. Again the band very successfully channels old D-beat through a post-punk filter and makes a catchy beast of a tune. The closing track Beneath the Catacombs is as dissonant as hell and has that noisy appeal of Sonic Youth, the gothic gloom of later The Damned and California pioneers Kommunity FK. 

Many things are uneqivocally obvious about this band and this album; they are real punk artisans at mixing styles together, and they write sensationally crafted songs that are catchy and abrasive at the same time. Over Pale Bodies offers no practical solutions to the messed up world we live in (like all punk/hardcore albums tbh), but the spirit and energy contained in this release make it worth throwing that Molotov regardless.
(P.S. just how amazing is the album cover art?, exceptional like everything this band does).  

This is a killer album from a top-class punk outfit and you need to listen to every release of this band and support them hard. Interview with this band coming soon.

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