Oh, punk rock, what are we gonna do with you… on May 5th, 2017, The Wet Bandits (Dylan Ramstead, David Huzyk, Derek Twigger, Trent White) of Toronto, Canada released their seven-song melodic punk EP entitled I Hope You Hear This. Periodic flavours of early Green Day and Blink 182 circa Cheshire Cat and Dude Ranch are apparent on this piece, however, the angsty and pubescent sounding Tom Delonge vocals on early Blink are the types of flavours I’m referring to. Although I could appreciate what Blink did by introducing that kind of nerdy vocal tone as an attribute of skate punk, what The Wet Bandits do doesn’t exactly make for easy listening.
“Look Around” is my favourite song off of this EP. It starts off with a sweet, catchy intro and the melody throughout is pretty cool. The vocals are nevertheless angst, yet they were mixed well and actually sound pretty badass, in line with Billy Talent. “My Heroes Come in Small Packages” could have been my runner-up due to its dope guitar intro; however, those vocals on the verse are too dramatic for my taste.
Granted, the instrumentals on this one are pretty sweet; there are some solid riffs and guitar work throughout the EP. However, there are two vocalists (Dylan Ramstead and Dylan Huzyk), and they are both very different. One is higher pitch and whiny similar to Simple Plan, while the other is more aggressive. It seems as though the majority of punk that I hear today sounds the same. They all have the same voice – trying to sound tough. All too many big name punk bands are replicating this, and these guys (The Wet Bandits) are doing it too. When I hear those types of aggressive punk vocals I never think, “Woah those guys sound badass and rebellious” because it was already done when punk actually was mean and scary – Sex Pistols-esque era.
Overall, the sound quality of this EP is solid and professional. Being hung up on the whole whiny, angst vocals is just me. As ranted, it seems as though the majority of pop punk these days has a very similar sound to this EP, so maybe these Wet Bandits are doing something right.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Lia Davis