Tag Archives: WSTR

WSTR – ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ (4/5)

(No Sleep)

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REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ is the debut full-length album from Liverpool pop-punk quartet WSTR.

Since the release in 2015 of their debut EP ‘SKRWD’, which generate rave reviews, the band have grown in stature, gaining a large and fast expanding following and wowing many with their well-received live shows and festival slots.

Therefore, it is little wonder that this offering has been eagerly anticipated for some time.

Well now, it is finally here and on listening to this, the wait has been worthwhile.

The sound, which to the four-piece’s admittance, is directly influenced by the outfits of the first wave of pop-punk, such as Blink-182, Sum 41 and New Found Glory, with upbeat, fast-paced melodies, sing-along choruses and heavy guitar riffery.

This does make it sound rather generic, however, it is bigger and better and a step up from their EP.

The lyrics are where the album is strongest, with frontman Sammy Clifford singing frankly about bad luck, regrets and failed relationships.

Both ‘Footprints’ and ‘Nail The Casket (Thanks For Nothing)’ deal with romantic breakdowns and trying to move on from them, which should relate to anybody who has been going through this, either presently or in the past.

That said, it is clear that the band are a relaxed bunch, taking everything as it comes.

They have worked hard at crafting their sound, but at the same time, seem to have put just as much emphasis on fun and having a good time.

Overall, ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ is a solid offering that should keep WSTR at their position of being one of the outfits at the forefront of the mainly British based new wave of pop punk.

TOP TRACK: ‘Footprints’

 

 

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WSTR

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WSTR (from l-r): Danny Swift (guitar), Sammy Clifford (vocals), Alex Tobijanski (bass), Kieren Alder (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Ever since its initial peak at the turn of the millennium, some have been theorising that pop punk is moribund.

However, the genre is still going strong and in the last few years, a new wave of bands, mainly based in the UK, have given it a new lease of life.

WSTR, from Liverpool, are one of the outfits at the forefront of this wave, with a highly successful EP, last year’s ‘SKRWD’ and numerous well-received festival sets under their belts.

With a rapidly growing following and an eagerly anticipated debut album coming out early next year, I caught up with them backstage before their headline gig in Hanley, which is part of their ‘The Inbetween Tour’.

How did the band get together initially?

SAMMY CLIFFORD (VOCALS): I moved to Liverpool, then our old drummer, he was friends with Swifty and Kieren, who went to uni up there and they jammed together before and stuff, messaged me, asking if I wanted to come and jam with their band.

He sent me a couple of old demos, which I put some vocals down on, and they liked them, so then we recorded ‘Graveyard Shift’ and shot a video for that, and it all went from there.

How did the name WSTR come about?

SAMMY: We wanted something that was punky, edgy and ‘fuck you’-ish.

We’re all just lads, aren’t we? What’s the word that people understand that aren’t us?

DANNY SWIFT (GUITAR): That aren’t us? What do you mean?

SAMMY: We’re gypos, aren’t we? Not really doing much.

DANNY: Yeah, just wasters. It sounds so cringy.

SAMMY: But it sounded like a good fit for us.

Which bands/artists influence you?

SAMMY: Too many to name.

They seem to be mostly older bands, I say old, like New Found Glory, Sum 41, Blink-182, so yeah, mainly the older stuff.

What is the inspiration for the band’s lyrics?

SAMMY: Just all stuff that happens to me, how I’m feeling, all different things, it depends on where I am at the time and what’s been going on.

It’s not just about me, it’s also the situation with our friends and stuff, life experiences and that.

Your new single ‘Footprints’ came out recently. How has the reaction been to it so far?

SAMMY: Yeah, it’s been really good, hasn’t it?

KIEREN ALDER (GUITAR): It’s been going down really well on this tour.

SAMMY: We were quite confident that it would be a step up from our EP, so we’re happy.

Your debut full-length album ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’ will be coming out early next year. What can we expect from it?

SAMMY: Basically us, but bigger and better.

That’s literally it, some more well thought out songs, that’s my opinion.

What about you guys?

DANNY: There’s more structure to it, definitely.

How has the recording process been?

DANNY: An absolute fucking nightmare!

SAMMY: It was going great, we did pre-production with our friend Seb, and we were booked in with another producer, which we were going to track with and they were going to mix it, but then, we didn’t, and got an offer from a respected producer, I’m not going to name any names, so we went with them, they gave us a good price, but didn’t like it, so we got another friend of ours, who’s also a respected name, to help us out.

They pushed us to the front of the queue and mixed it for us, but it wasn’t the sound we wanted, so we decided to go back to Seb.

All that messing around that we didn’t really need to do.

Stoke-on-Trent is just one of the places you’re going to on your nationwide tour. How is the experience of touring for the band?

DANNY: Rowdy, really rowdy.

KIEREN: It’s great, we’re able to go all around the country, meet loads of new people, make loads of new friends every day.

They’ve been really good to us, some of them have even put us up in their homes for the night.

DANNY: We all have a good laugh as well.

It must be exhausting for you at times though, mustn’t it?

SAMMY: Yeah, it can be tiring.

DANNY: We’ve had a few days off here and there on this tour.

It sounds weird, but I think we could have done without them and just carried on, because when you’re on tour and you get a day off, you get used to just lounging around.

It’s good technically, but it makes me feel more shit.

SAMMY: Yeah, one day you’re in tour mode, the next you’re not.

KIEREN: We all love touring anyway, even if it does involve a lot of waiting around.

Have there been any hairy moments on stage?

DANNY: Yeah, all the time, don’t we?

KIEREN: I seem to fall over a lot, I’ve hurt my ankle a few times.

DANNY: Yeah, I hurt my ankle really badly when we were on tour with Neck Deep.

SAMMY: This stuff happens, like someone getting hurt in the crowd and shit.

DANNY: It really stinks when something like that happens, dunnit?

SAMMY: It’s rare though, with any band, that a show will go 100% smoothly.

DANNY: I don’t think that happens ever.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

SAMMY: We’ve got no idea to be honest, we’ll just see how the album does and go from there, and I think we would all like to play in as many countries as possible.

We don’t really have a set target as such, we don’t go “We want to be at this point at this certain time.”

We just take everything as it comes.

WSTR’S DEBUT ALBUM, ‘RED, GREEN OR INBETWEEN’ WILL BE RELEASED ON 20TH JANUARY 2017 VIA NO SLEEP RECORDS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WSTR – The Underground, Hanley, 29/10/2016

SUPPORT: Milestones, Clay Lake, Waiting For Hollywood

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REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Liverpool pop punks WSTR were in Hanley as part of a nationwide tour promoting their debut full-length offering ‘Red, Green or Inbetween’, which will be out early next year.

Strong performances from local bands Clay Lake and Waiting For Hollywood and Mancunian five-piece Milestones were the perfect warm-up for the expectant crowd.

The stage was then cast into darkness, with the headliners coming on to Nineties dance classic ‘9pm (Till I Come)’ by ATB.

They then went straight into a set which was a mix of previous hits and songs off the forthcoming album, and was abundant in loudness and energy.

WSTR seemed to take full advantage of the intimate setting, making sure there was crowd involvement throughout.

Another positive of them playing a small venue was that every pluck of a guitar string and beat of the drums could be heard in great detail.

With this gig, they showed exactly why they are seen as one of the bands at the forefront of the new wave of mainly British-based pop punk, and if WSTR can capture the essence of what I saw, then the album should be a big success for them.

 

 

 

 

 

WSTR UNVEIL NEW VIDEO SINGLE ‘FOOTPRINTS’ AHEAD OF UK HEADLINER

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Liverpudlian pop punks WSTR have unveiled their punchy new single and video for track ‘Footprints’ here, with vocalist Sammy Clifford saying: “It gives an insight into life as a WSTR, and it’s great to watch back over all the memories, even though to be honest we can’t remember half of the footage actually happening!”

‘Footprints’ is the second track to be released from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Red, Green Or Inbetween’, due for release on Jan 20th through No Sleep Records. Clifford reveals the track is about: “Two people growing apart and even though you might still love that person, you know it isn’t right and you are desperately trying to cling on. In the end you just have to let some things go.”

After the success of their debut EP ‘SKRWD’ (No Sleep Records – Sept 2015), the band have gone from strength to strength and achieved accolades that most acts don’t achieve in a career, off the back of only one EP.

2016 has seen WSTR repeatedly circuit the UK and Europe with international touring bands such as Neck Deep, A Wilhelm Scream, Moose Blood & Creeper, and warmly welcomed onto established festival slots, at Slam Dunk Festival, 2000 Trees, Hevy Fest and Butserfest.

“When we started the band we were all in a situation of waking up every morning, going to work, coming home, going to sleep,” recalls Clifford, explaining the origins of his band’s blunt moniker; “It felt like we were just wasted space & not really doing much with our lives other than working. This band has given us all something to do & to be proud of. Putting out an album is a big scary step, but it’s been a long time coming and we’re ready to see what the world has to say and hopefully see some more of it”.

On the live front, late October through to early November sees the band heading out on a UK headline tour with support from Milestones. Guitarist Kieren Alder declares: “We’re super excited to finally be able to play new songs from the album live, as we’ve been touring the EP for a while now so it’ll be good to freshen up the set, especially for the fans who have seen us before!”

Their first set of Irish dates are also planned for November as they support fellow pop punks ROAM. All live dates currently announced, are below:

CATCH WSTR LIVE:
HEADLINE UK TOUR (with support from Milestones): 24.10. Dundee, Buskers | 25.10. Edinburgh, Opium | 26.10. York, Fibbers | 27.10. Sheffield, O2 Academy 2 | 29.10. Stoke, Underground | 31.10. Liverpool, O2 Academy 2 | 01.11. Leicester, Scholar | 02.11. London, The Assembly | 03.11. Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach | 04.11. Plymouth, Underground | 05.11. Bournemouth, Anvil

DATES SUPPORTING ROAM: 27.11.16 Fibber Magees, Dublin, Ireland | 28.11.16 Roisin Dubh, Galway, Ireland | 29.11.16 Voodoo, Belfast, UK

WSTR RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM ‘RED, GREEN OR INBETWEEN’ VIA NO SLEEP RECORDS ON THE 20TH JANUARY 2017. PRE-ORDER:

DIGITAL: http://nosleeprecords.lnk.to/wstr

PHYSICAL & MERCH: http://store.nosleeprecords.com/catalogs/wstr

WATCH ‘FOOTPRINTS’ AT: hyperurl.co/footprints

STREAM ‘FOOTPRINTS’ VIA SPOTIFY OR PURCHASE AT: http://nosleeprecords.lnk.to/footprints

MORE INFO AVAILABLE VIA WSTR’S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PAGES: facebook.com/wstrband & twitter.com/wstrband