In the short period between the release of their debut 7” and this CD, Calgary’s WAKE has gone through a few lineup changes, done a couple of tours, and changed their sound somewhat. While their debut 7” – Surrounded by Human Filth – was a lot more technical grindcore sounding, this CD adds a number of other influences to the tech-grind mix. With Leeches, there is more of a modern hardcore influence creeping in there. Just enough to shake things up a bit, but not enough to totally overwhelm or spoil the whole package. The drumming is super tight and precise, and the guitars are as ferocious as ever. Song structures are great, too – each song is obviously different from the last one, and yet they mix together so well. You can tell that a lot of care was taken into arranging this beast.
Another way that the band has evolved since the 7” is in the lyrics department. As I mentioned earlier, there have been lineup changes in the band between releases, and one of those changes has been the vocalist, who also writes most of the lyrics. Where the 7” was significantly more metaphorical and less direct in its lyrical attacks, here you really have no way of misinterpreting anything. The songs are much more explicitly political this time around, but not cliché by any stretch. They’ve found a way to walk the line between making one’s point as directly as possible, but not jump on simple cliché statements. WAKE always bring the goods, and this album is no different. They keep us on our toes while still crushing heads with their powerful grinding hardcore. (Inbred)
Hearing Aid Records