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WSTR - ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’

Rob Sayce
Rob Sayce 13 January 2017 at 11.59

WSTR - ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ Cover

The debut from one of the UK's brightest pop-punk bands is here.

WSTR are a mess. Stumbling through a labyrinth of drunken, half-remembered regrets, missed opportunities and self-disgusted realisations, these Liverpool-via-Wrexham pop-punks don’t hold anything back on their debut album – and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so special.

‘Red Green Or Inbetween’ paints a brutally honest, unvarnished portrait of what it’s like to be twentysomething and lost; whether that’s anxiety about embracing adult life (‘Footprints’) or getting stuck in old patterns (‘Eastbound & Down’).

It never feels like a downer though, thanks to the band’s supercharged, hardcore-influenced take on the genre. From the 38-second rampage of ‘Gobshite’ to the infectious bounce of ‘King’s Cup’, they come across like a scrappier, rawer Neck Deep – frontman Sammy Clifford a virtual Ben Barlow sound-alike much of the time ­– and it certainly suits them.

‘Hightail’ adds a more reflective, bittersweet edge, while flat-out bangers like ‘Lonely Smiles’ and ‘Featherweight’ would sound perfect blasting from the Warped Tour main stage.

Sure, you won’t find much in the way of originality here, but there’s something so immediate and real about these 11 tracks that silences such qualms.

All in all, it adds up to another milestone release for UK pop-punk. WSTR may be a mess, but you’d be a fool to write them off.

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