“What Am I?” sounds like a great blast of rock sugar from a bunch of youthful dreamers. Armed with electric and acoustic guitars and a DIY work ethic, they bash raucous ditties about personal problems, the changing society, delusion and hope.
Initially started as a solo project by Nelson Scott, Mistletoes and Warheads, who are based out of Rochester NY, have become a three-piece band, with the addition of members Justin Au-Yeung and Andrew Love.
Whatever Mistletoes and Warheads may lack in experience, they more than make up for in exuberance. Nelson Scott has a voice that just boils over with dissonant hormonal commotion and cockiness, while the band tear into their instruments with all the speed and intensity, that their systems’ racing through adolescent upheaval, can keep up with.
These guys rock their butts off on almost every track here, and the smart arrangements lend a welcome sense of dynamics to their raw punkier-than-thou sound. This is experimental music, based on creativeness not on audio quality, so don’t expect noise-free, silky smooth productions. This is brash, in your face well-constructed, hook-laden songs with a pronounced talent for witty lyrics.
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Mistletoes and Warheads do their thing with panache, raw energy and a poppy alternative punk edge. Listen to the tracks “Broken” and “Like A Scorpion” to get a glimpse of how infectious and catchy these tunes become on repeat listening.
The band also breeze through a selection of acoustic-guitar-based compositions, just to throw a spanner in the works. “Pamplemousse,” “Asshole Anthem” and “Bright Light” are great examples of these discordant, bittersweet acid arrangements.
Musically the songs are simple and make great rock n roll. Nelson Scott is an acidic lyricist, as good as indie alternative punk can get, and his raw on/over-the-edge singing style, fits the genre perfectly. This kind of music brings risk right back into the rock and roll equation, and should inspire countless of other kids to pick up some instruments, play their own music and shout their messages to the world.
The Mistletoes and Warheads music, to me, is very reminiscent of a similar period during the 70’s, when The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and The Clash reigned all over the world. Theirs was a nihilistic sound born out of the desperate state of political and economic reality. It was a time when no future seemed in sight. The music flourished from the hopelessness of the first generation to have it much worse off than their parents. Society and politics were no longer to be trusted. Today this all sounds so familiar again. Hence, the current pertinence and perspective of Scott’s music.
Granted this is not an easy album to listen to. Especially if you’re all about harmony, sugar sweet melodics and perfect sound production. You may not like this album, and that’s fair enough. But to deny it’s value, both as a creative alternative to mainstream radio music and relevant social statement from today’s youth, well, that’s just showing how antiquated, conservative and ignorant you are!
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