Kudzu Wish – Reverse Hurricane

Kudzu Wish
Reverse Hurricane

There was a time, just a few years ago, that I was desperate for hardcore albums. I bought up vinyl on second-hand recommendations, explored every band a band I knew shared a stage with, and virtually haunted local hardcore venues. The blending of aggressiveness and emotional lyrics was fresh and exciting … for a time. Then, as always happens with a genre, a million imitators (and granted, emo/hardcore was certainly nothing new just a few years back) did the same thing over and over again, and ridiculously tired out, I abandoned the whole thing and moved on.
Kudzu Wish, on the other hand, renews my spirit for good old power-rock, hardcore, punk, or however you’d like to call it. It may not be the most unique approach, but it’s done here almost unbelievably well. On Reverse Hurricane, this band combines technical precision, powerful vocals, and intense delivery to create something that’s powerful yet restrained and cohesive enough to be more than another 45 minutes of screams and metallic riffs. Rather, it’s much more punk in its energy, more hardcore in its precision, and purely rock in foundation.
Singer Adam Thorn’s delivery goes a long way in making this album so good. Belting out his words without resorting to screams – there’s plenty of screams delivered understandingly for a change in the backup vocals – he sounds awfully close to singing despite his more deadpan delivery. See the purely rocking “We’ve Got Big Hands,” for example, where he belts out “We all need things of our own / because we’re each a big fat king on our big fat throne,” then sings quite nice in a quiet breakdown, “Death and war are what we have coming to us / the price we pay for greed and hubris” (the last four words sung by the backup vocalists). The chorus of “Dallinger Properties, Inc.” is another catchy one: “We know you couldn’t care less / that we’re coming down with the West Nile virus.”
A good example of this band’s fresh style is the opener, “Disguise! Disguise!” Starting off slow and melodic, it explodes with frenzied energy before breaking down again by its ending. “I Am Robot” has some blistering guitar riffs, precise and yet melodic, especially during the breakdown in the middle of the song. Perhaps the best song here, “Do You Need an Anthem?” has an aggressive vocal approach, but the guitars are almost pretty at the same time. By the time the lines “Do you need an anthem? Well here’s an anthem. This town’s a wasteland, but it’s our wasteland,” the song’s unique structure and rhythm was impressing enough, but the last minute blasts into high-powered rock, even more intense. A close second, “Re: Assassins” has a fantastic intro, leading into a catchy, oft-repeated yet intrinsically strong chorus.
As loud and aggressive as Reverse Hurricane is, what makes it so good is that it’s so damn catchy. Like the best punk-rock, you can sing along (or shout along) the words of most of these songs, even when they’re not fist-pumping shout-alongs. It’s that brand of catchy songwriting that shows Kudzu Wish is a very talented rock band with the energy and enthusiasm of a punk or hardcore legend.