Ooh, I’ve heard this sound before. Where’s it from? Southern California? No? It’s from Greece and that’s pretty cool. Raised Wrong emulate the style of 90s skate punk bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, and Good Riddance with their debut album, released in July of 2019, Shut Up Already showcasing that.
I really dig the vocal style; not too whiny, not too nasally, with the perfect amount of grit and rasp so the songs can still be sung melodically, and not sound like a hoarse pitbull who smokes two packs a day. There are a few “whoas” here and there. Fortunately, they’re used sparingly and don’t appear on every single song.
For a band that chooses to sing in their second language, the lyrics on some songs are surprisingly profound, if you ignore the occasional grammatical error. On “9 Years,” the singer talks about learning how to skateboard at the tender age of ten in 2009. So if you do the math, these boys are fairly young and inexperienced, but still have a lot to offer, commenting on our obsession with technology on “21st Century” and personal family life on “Unknown Relatives.”
With each track, the guitar riffs pull inspiration from multiple sources in the skate punk archive, which at this point is close to three decades’ worth of material. For example, “Nutcracker” sounds like a reworked version of NOFX’s “Separation of Church and Skate,” whereas the opening riff of “What’s Left Of Me” sounds more like Bad Religion, and “Far From Now” has a bit of PUP in it. “You’re Not Alone” switches between a fast punk riff and a laid-back ska riff.
Thankfully, this is the only appearance of ska, as we know it can easily be overdone. The final track “Unknown Relatives” transitions into acoustic guitar sections, driving home the emotion of the subject matter. In these ways, Raised Wrong manages to have some variety while operating within a box.
Written by Chris Aitkens
*edited by Dominic Abate