The Wednesdays – Invisible Youth

The Wednesdays
Invisible Youth

When the Wednesdays’ Invisible Youth crossed my path, I expected a thoroughly hardcore or punk album based on the band’s label, Thorp Records out of Ohio. However, this Alabama-based group marries punk, garage rock, soul, and Southern rock into a sound that is much easier on the ears than you might expect. As one of many side-projects of brothers Jamie and Joey Barrier – who also play in the Natchez Shakers, the Pine Hill Haints, the Quadrajets, and more – the style here is quick and dirty, and as such the album’s 11 songs barely make it past the 20-minute mark.

For such a short play-time, the Wednesdays do manage to cram a lot of little golden nuggets into their songs. Sometimes the strange fusion of styles doesn’t work as well as it could (“Lost Highway Rock n Roll,” “The Kid Who Would Fight Anybody”) because the music just seems to get a bit garbled, but when the band pulls it all together, the result is nothing short of invigorating.

The first track, “You Cannot Fail,” starts off with a great guitar intro before slamming into a frantic pace with short bursts of vocals that are half-sung, half-yelled. “They’ll Hunt Us Down” has a 60s garage-rock sound merged with equal dashes of soul and pop, and the song is so upbeat and catchy that it is sure to get stuck in your head for days. “You’re a Fascist” follows in a similar vein, while others like “Sweet Beulah” have a more straight-forward rock sound.

The only (minor) complaint I have about Invisible Youth is its length, because 20 minutes feel more like an introductory EP than a full-length album. And seriously, if the length of an album is the only negative point, it really doesn’t hold a lot of weight. Although this isn’t a perfect album – it certainly doesn’t purport to be – this seems like a band playing for the love of music, and all those side projects wouldn’t be happening if these guys didn’t love what they do. The Wednesdays have an interesting approach that is definitely worth checking out if you like your music crammed with influences and delivered by a group that lives their music.