Wife Patrol – ‘Too Prickly For This World’ | Album Review

wife patrol

Wife Patrol releases debut LP Too Prickly For This World on September 4.

Indianapolis’ new-wave punk band Wife Patrol serves up a delectable debut LP, Too Prickly For This World. Listed as a Bandcamp ‘New and Notable’, this album flawlessly blends together every genre on the punk sliding scale from the last forty years to create the perfect album for the new decade. Below is a track by track breakdown of what to look forward to in your upcoming listen.

Track 1) Why Do I Do This To Myself 

Highlights:

  • We are immediately met with a nostalgic metal chord progression that slides into a song that is reminiscent of Election Light Orchestra meets Cheap Trick. 

Track 2) Let’s Hang Out

Highlights:

  • A killer baseline that rivals Tina Weymouth. 
  • The vocals don’t begin until over a minute into the song. A band with a less mature sound couldn’t pull this off, but I was enchanted by every crisp beat along the way. The eventual vocals were a nice sprinkle of powdered sugar on top of the many layered chocolate cake that is this song. 
  • This is the perfect love song in the time of COVID.

Track 3) Spyro

Highlights:

  • Lyrics weave a modern Arthurian legend.
  • The picking is smooth like the tide. As it goes out and in, I feel like I’m in a boat that is smoothly cresting it’s way to shore on a starry night.
  • Showcases a beguiling, yet calming pattern of sound.

Track 4) Your Mother

Highlights: 

  • Vocals continue on a magical theme; however, the vocals are restrained here and I want to hear more strife and anguish pour through the lead vocals of Nicole and Natasha. 

Track 5) Valentine Citrus

Highlights:

  • The perfect song to accompany a beach bonfire.
  • Between this song and Spyro, I was surprised to learn Wife Patrol was an Indianapolis based band. Their sound is so Pacific. Nicole’s and Natasha’s vocals are that of modern mermaids trapping wayward seamen to their eventual dooms.
  • Overall, Wife Patrol is The Beach Boys’ cooler, younger sisters.

Track 6) Girl Cactus

Highlights:

  • With delicate fuck you strums and Bikini Kill call and response vocals, this is the album’s lynchpin song.
  • Listen closely, and you will understand the title and the theme of this record, continuing in the fervent Riot Grrrl tradition.

Track 7) Microphone

Highlights:

  • Greg’s vocals are evocative of classic Devo (another Midwest gem.)
  • A very gratifying cowabunga slider.

Track 8) In a Race

Highlights:

  • This is the unsuspecting banger of the album, prompt for the crowd’s hands to raise above our heads and start clapping along with Natasha’s sticks, amidst a laser light show of sound. 

Track 9) Starlight Sun

Highlights:

Track 10) Electric Blizzard

Highlights:

  • This is the band’s ode to Midwest winters. You can feel yourself falling to your knees in crusted snow, unable to see enough to move forward. Then you freeze to death, dusted by a light sprinkle of Nicole’s and Natasha’s deadly harmonies. 
  • This is my suggestion or the upcoming Dune remake soundtrack.
  • Even more references to Michael Jackson, an Indiana native.

Track 11) Absolute

Highlights:

  • A sequel to Spyro, where we left Arthur on the sidelines to explore the much more interesting story of Morgana.
  • This is the song the court jester sings around the fire at the end of battle, where all the rulers have found themselves without their heads. 

Wife Patrol delivers what other bands fail to when experimenting with structure. Wife Patrol finds a way to create a flawless Rocky Horror, instead of Dr Frankenstein’s jarring monster carelessly stitched together. The direction of each song is always interesting. The structure changes within songs always feel earned and are never disruptive. I’m in awe that even the songs I personally found unfavourable, the skill and theory behind each musical choice is literally noteworthy. While this album is bound to be a top album within the scene, there are moments where Wife Patrol’s technical abilities create a muted sound where I wish the band would have just let itself run wild. In future albums, I look forward to Wife Patrol’s undeniable skills unleashing themselves to create a truly unfiltered masterpiece.

Wife Patrol’s Too Prickly For This World is available September 4. Order here.

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