Wednesday 8 May 2019

Wet Petals - II

Labels: Larry Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 March 2019


1. I: Cascade
2. II: Afterpastures
3. III: Interlude
4. IV: An Echo In The Carnage
5. V: Opium Summer
6. VI: Underneath The Plastic Rainbow
7. VII: __________________________

I couldn't go another day without writing a review and I realised that I've been sitting on tapes from Larry Records for too long. now. This review was meant to be part of a bigger feature but I didn't want to delay things any more. This tape was released earlier this year in collaboration with Zegema Beach Records (so I guess I'm now out of sync with my ZBR roster review series). New York state screamo trio Wet Petals started releasing music 2012 and this, their second full-length, originally saw the light of day in 2015 thanks to a digital self-release. This acts as a post-humous release as Wet Petals is no more. Tapes come in a printed/stamped envelope, which is a great DIY touch.

It seems that modern day screamo bands are living by the same mantra, as they’re around for a good time not a long time. Wet Petals certainly lived up to that having released one demo and two EPs/full-lengths, depending on your definition of the two. On “II” they managed to produce and perform screamo of the caustic yet twinkly variety. I: Cascade is everything I’ve just described and a whole lot more, with vocals that are as grating as screamo vocals get, while being backed up by off-kilter percussion and guitar work that’s as melodic as it is driving.

Wringing feedback kicks off II: Afterpastures, which ups the intensity and tempo, leading the music down a path that’s riddled with emoviolence. That belays the emotion dripping from the song though.
III: Interlude is exactly what it says, an interlude. The spoken-word sample and gently strummed guitar projects a mood that’s edgy and unnerving. It fits this release perfectly,

On IV: An Echo In The Carnage, there’s a sense of relaxation to begin with that’s shattered as the full band unleashes another shorter sub two-minute burst of violence. It’s a shock that both starts and stops on a dime. VI: Opium Summer takes Wet Petals back in a lengthier direction in terms of their compositions. It’s great all round and with the tempered drumming, it feels gentler on the soul, albeit briefly. The trio lurches between up-tempo passages and artier/off-kilter verses that aren’t without their intensity either. The closing few bars sound like they were composed using 8-bit/chiptune electronics, though I may be wrong. It sounds like it should be on a Nintendo Game Boy game. 

Penultimate number VI: Underneath The Plastic Rainbow has space to breath with its slower tempo and more laid back instrumentation. The spoken-word and audible vocals in the song could be compared to those of Old Gray or La Dispute, which is a compliment as they are truly emotive and heartfelt. The mysteriously tilted closer VII: __________________________ is one final, lurching release of anger from Wet Petals that fades into eventual silence and with it the feeling of calm and the provision of time for self-reflection. This is a record that feels raw but at the same time pure. Wet Petals may be gone but this final release will ensure that they’re not forgotten.

You can stream "II" and download it (name-you-price) below:-

Tape copies are available from the links below:-

Larry Records (2 left) - 

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