A Wilhelm Scream Ruiner

Following 2004’s Mute Print, one of the most energetic and promising punk rock records in years, A Wilhelm Scream had a lot to live up to with their sophomore release under the new moniker. This time around not very much has changed. They fall short of stepping towards a productive evolution but this isn’t to say that Ruiner falls short of exceptional. They still brilliantly combine vocal harmonies and sharp, speedy licks, but they’ve lost their ability to craft the hooks that made Mute Print stand above the rest. Sticking with the old guns, their sound ends up somewhere in between Hot Water Music, Good Riddance and 88 Fingers Louie. Once again, their technically engaging and driven approach to songwriting is incredibly impressive, but the previously mentioned want of captivating moments and conspicuous improvement is disappointing. The lyrics are equally as straightforward and honest but there aren’t any songs that make the same impact as "Anchor End” or "The Rip.” They’ve gained a lot of media attention in the short time between these two records, and though it’s definitely merited, one might worry that the jinx of hype could be rearing its ugly head. (Nitro)