TODAY is the release of Andrew W.K.s new EP. It is the first EP in 10 years and it rAWKs!
Ive had the opportunity to listen to this more than a few times now. At least once on my home stereo system and once on my headphones (I think they bring out different things). The overall style of this EP has definitely shifted from other releases towards more of the club dance music of 2011. There is nothing wrong with that, since the Party Til You Puke EP was club dance music of 2001. And it was great! However, its very different from IGWs and The Wolfs METAL (which has classical music elements in it). There really isnt much metal to hear at all except for the thrasher break down in head bangwhich rules. However, I can still occasionally hear the classical music progression I love in AWKs music so that makes me happy.
I think most people are yearning for a repeat of either I Get Wet or The Wolf when anything is released by Andrew W.K.. I too would be more than happy to get that, however I think that changing your style as a musician makes complete sense and isnt necessarily a bad thing. As Ive listened to the quality of music and production level upon each Japan release increase, I think this NEW direction will not disappoint. Also I think it has the potential of surpassing anything that the Close Calls With Brick Walls album offered. But were not talking about new albums, were talking about this EP. Back to that.
The change in the husky vocals from The Wolf to Close Calls With Brick Walls is all the more present in this EP. You will now look back at Close Calls and think dang! his vocals were so much more husky then. Sometimes I felt like I was straining to hear the lyrics or to hear the vocals at all, but even worse it sometimes felt like it was physically hurting my ears to listen to it! The naturally soft or deep tones the human voice have are somehow removed and all thats left is a raspy and harsh voice. However, I think its a definite improvement from any of the other releases from Japanvocal wise. In fact, since this EP has the same styling of other Japan releases, I think its fair to compare them. I think that this EP has improved in every way relative to what hes released previously in Japan. AWESOME!
1) Party All Goddamn Night
This is a great song and has some awesome elements within it. The only thing that bothers me a little bit about it, is its structure. I still dont know which is which between the chorus and verse of the song. It just kinda seems scattered all over the placeand I have no idea whats coming next. Overall, cool song. I like the vocoder elements used, reminiscent of I Get Wet.
2) Everybodys Raging
This song is sick!!! When its time to rage we will rage rage rage brought a smile to my face. The bridges (or whatever you call it) bounce beat was interesting. Unique for AWK I must say. Raging is kinda a hokey word, but whos taking this music THAT seriously? Honestly people, raging fits well in AWKs music. Im sure well see this one make the Raucus album since the themes fit together almost too well.
3) I Sold My Soul
EASILY my favorite song on the EP. Awesome arrangement and structure to the song. Knowing the background, you can definitely tell this one comes from the heart. Wish I could turn up the piano just before the ending!!! AWESOME!!!! I cant stop listening to this song on repeat. Im obsessed!
4) Head Bang
Wow, pretty different, not only from the three previous songs but also from anything else hes done. However, it kind of reminds me of one of the OK songs on CCWBW. The lyrics were hilarious but the 2nd half (the thrasher part) was the best part of the song. Heavy = awesome. Just an OK song in my opinion.
5) Im A Vagabond
See my review of Mother of Mankind
6) Were All Women
LOVED, this updated version. It turned a song that I didnt really care about into one of my favorite songs on the EP! Not only was it a welcomed change of pace on the EP, but I also wouldnt mind if an entire album sounded like this! But I know many probably disagree and want a rock n roll album. This is what the update to Vagabond should have been like on MOM. If you didnt know, Andrew recorded this track with Peter Yanowitz at the 2007 Hanson Fools Banquet. A demo version can be found in the B-side section. What a contrast!
7) I Was Born To Love You
This E-Single has been available for awhile now, Ive talked it about it other places. See my article about The Top 10 Andrew W.K. Songs You Never Knew Existedit made that list.
Andrew has stated that hes recording a new Rock n Roll album, if the songs are similar or the same as these I think a better description would be hes recording a dance album. I dont necessarily think Rock n Roll as Im listening to these. However, this could be what Party Til You Puke was to I Get Wet??? only time will tell. Overall Im happy with this EP, I approve.
Overall = 9/10
However, I have to add that I Sold My Soul and Were All Women = 10/10
I Will Not Be Archiving This EP Anytime Soon
Ive previously written up my thoughts in a blog post on the importance of ownership of property. There, I described the irony between this site and the type of visitors who frequent this site. What Ive discovered is that the people who regularly return to this site are also the people who collect Andrew W.K. merchandise. Meaning, most of the people who are interested in downloading free content are the same people who are making purchases. Weird right? Please read that blog post for further explanation.
Awhile back I decided not to archive full length albums here. I dont really know exactly why I made that decision but there was some wisdom in it. Perhaps it was my way of saying: Hey, support this artist!! despite the billion downloads that you can find. Ive recently read an EXCELLENT article about the analysis of sales in the music industry; entitled The Real DEATH Of The Music Industry. There they have charts like the following:
It clearly shows that most revenue for an artist comes from LP sales. I think subconsciously I knew this before I even read the article and thats why I chose not to archive the full length albums. Unfortunately for artists, LP sales have been in a serious decline since the early 2000s:
I dont really see this decline turning around anytime soon either. What this chart doesnt show is the revenue from touring. I think eventually a touring artist will become more and more like a sporting event. Yea, you can watch the game for free on TV but there is a reason why people pay premium prices to sit at the stadium. Going to a venue, being around people who have the same common interest and feeling the energy of a live band is just something you cant get from a free/cheap downloaded copy of music. A show can be something worth laying down serious cash for (just look at athletes salaries). I think thats where the money will be for artists in the future, so it would be wise to design an entertaining show. Luckily for Andrew W.K. he already puts on the most entertaining show Ive ever been to.
So the reason why Ive chosen to not archive this EP right away and why I have archived others, is that it almost seems too close to an LP to me and its too new. I suspect that a lot of the money to be made in LPs or EPs are around the date of release. I think you will benefit greatly by owning a copy of it (as explained in my previous blog post). So, just because this site offers many free downloads does not mean I dont believe in supporting Andrew W.K.. Go buy the EP!!!! > YesAsia Or CDJapan
Here is what your carpet will look like before and after you download stuff vs when you start making purchases: