Album, Single and EP Reviews



  SmashBoXXX by Wonderful Wankerz (the)

SmashBoXXX cover art

Artist: Wonderful Wankerz (the)
Title: SmashBoXXX
Catalogue Number: Well Dressed Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

Wonderful Wankerz (the) is a great name for a band (even if I wonder if wanker means the same on the bankrupt side of the pond as it does here). Made up of two of Baltimore's quirkiest musicians, - Matt Perzinski from The Agrarians and Andy Chrest aka Krestovsky - this is an oddly effective amalgam of their respective musical styles.

Matt Perzinski's non vocals and oblique lyrical style are still present and correct but Krestovsky's stylish musical interludes give this album a curious sense of grace. On some of the tracks - particularly "The Fallen Decline" - I got to thinking that Krestovsky has an album or two by Apples in Stereo stashed away somewhere. What I like most about this album though is the sense of scale. It does not sound small. "Lazy Bones" is a love song (I think!) that explodes like a thunderstorm over the desert. It has an intensity that suggests a lack of control over elemental forces. You wouldn't get housewife's favourite and love god Jamie Cullum going down that musical route - even his hair is under total control.

Given who is involved in Wonderful Wankerz (the), this is actually quite accessible. Yes, it does ramble at times but it does work musically. I was actually sober - something that would never be considered by any rational man when listening to an album by The Agrarians, for example - when reviewing this album and it proved to be involving (for want of a better word). It has this primitive charm and you get this feeling that these reprobates actually enjoyed making this album. In fact, you also get the feeling that they will do this kind of thing forever. Even when they are in some retirement home, they will find a way to record and release a CD. It's in their blood.
Review Date: October 1 2008