A Wilhelm Scream’s Sweet Time

BY Sam SutherlandPublished Jan 6, 2022

There are bands who can barely write a song in two months. For New Bedford, Massachusetts’ A Wilhelm Scream, two months is an almost unheard of amount of time to write an entire record. "We had no tours planned, and we maybe could have taken one more, but we figured that since I was in the country legally on a work visa, we should take some time and jam it out,” says the band’s Canadian bassist Brian Robinson. "Put a little more time in than the guys had in the past.”

A little more time meant no more parts written in solitude and recorded on micro-cassette — a more collaborative writing process for a band that relied solely on the demented genius of guitarist Trevor Reilly for close to a decade. Mashing together mid-’90s SoCal pop-punk, thrashy guitars, and brain-bursting manipulations of time signatures and fretboards, it’s hard to believe the band’s past two albums, hugely praised in the melody-loving punk community, were written in such short bursts of time. That their latest full-length, Career Suicide, benefits from a full-band approach, is assurance of more full-blown insanity.

"I was in New Bedford for two months, going into the practice space every day,” Robinson says. "Even if it was just me and Nick [Pasquale Angelini, drummer], just to work out details of every song and come up with ideas for other songs to bounce off the other guys.” With A Wilhelm Scream, those ideas are rarely typical to pop-punk; "Jaws 3, People 0” features a chromatic whole-tone bass solo, while "5 to 9” features one of the most confusingly catchy riffs ever committed to tape by a band influenced by NOFX.

"We play stuff that’s really weird and interesting and we laugh our asses off,” Robinson says. "And usually what we end up laughing at is what ends up on the album.”

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