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Listen to the new album by WYRES and read a track-by-track breakdown!

Today, we are thrilled to bring you the premiere of the new album by Manchester-based punks WYRES! The album is called Nothing Like Your Idols and features eleven terrific new tracks. We caught up with the band and they gave us their insight into each song on the record. Nothing Like Your Idols will be out everywhere tomorrow and you can pre-save it right here. Listen to the album and read the track-by-track breakdown below!

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Nothing Like Your Idols Track-by-Track Breakdown “NOTHING LIKE YOUR IDOLS”

There was some late debate as to which song should open the record, and in the end, “Nothing Like Your Idols” got the nod – we’d already decided that’s what we were calling the album, so it made a lot of sense. We also wanted a statement of intent – opening the album with something that brought a bit of punk style aggression. It’s actually a song we’ve had in the locker for a while – we jammed it at our first ever practice way back in early 2020 before the world (and our band) got shut down for so long. So that also feels like a good reason for it to open our debut album! It’s about respected figures – doctors, lawyers, teachers – who love to preach about “saving the children” at parties before shoving cocaine up their noses, apparently without irony.

“NEW REVOLUTION”

Internet trolls and keyboard warriors are the target for the lyrics of “New Revolution” – and they’re purposely scathing. It’s really poisonous behaviour to tear down complete strangers from a safe distance under a shroud of anonymity. The vitriolic diatribes and name-calling you see on platforms like Twitter (or whatever Uncle Elon is calling it now) is honestly troubling. And online virtue signalling has made it hard to understand what real action can or should be taken on serious societal issues. We’re not at the end of that arc either, so it made sense to pair that message with one of our most musically unrelenting and furious songs. We’re really not strictly a “punk” band (as, ironically, a few keyboard warriors have been keen to tell us), but if you dig that type of music, this one will be for you.

“LET ME GO”

We’re really happy with how “Let Me Go” has gone down as a single and we’re really keen for more people to hear it, so it had to go early on in the record. It’s a straightforward pop-punk tune at heart, but a few people have pointed out that the chord progressions are a little unusual for that type of song. So it feels like it throws in a bit of a curveball to a fairly familiar-looking ball game. “Let Me Go” is also a bit of a different song, lyrically. Quite a lot of the songs on the album are observational – looking at what’s happening to friends or in society as a whole and then adding some introspection. This song is the opposite. It’s a very personal account of dealing with sleep issues, including waking dreams, paralysis, and sleepwalking, and the effect that can have on your wider mental health and how that might appear to those around you. We put together a lyric video for it which has very dark, nightmarish imagery – it definitely captures the mood of the song so check that out if you get a chance!

“POLEMICIST”

This track is our “great hope” for this album. But given our track record of guessing which of our songs people will like best, we may well be totally off-base there! This is one of our collective favourites on the album, so it felt like it had to go up front. There’s a definite Thrice vibe to it musically, and lyrically it’s about some pretty heavy subjects – namely extremism, fanaticism, and manipulation. Nobody thinks they can be brainwashed, but history has shown how easy that can be – even when it involves large swathes of people. One day, you’re living your normal life. The next, you’re giving white power salutes. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s so easy to not even realize what’s happening as it’s happening – so the song serves as a reminder to be vigilant, to question what you are told, and to hold those around you to account if you see them slipping down a dangerous slope.

“SALT OF THE EARTH”

“Salt of the Earth” probably would have been on the second half of the record had it not done so surprisingly well as a single. The message seemed to really resonate with listeners, especially in the USA, Sweden, and in particular Germany. It’s a song about what we continue to learn from those we love, even after they’re gone. Specifically, it’s about Matthew Cogley, who tragically passed in 2015 and who played in a band called Failsafe with three of us. It’s impossible to understate how close you end up to somebody when you play all around the country and the world with them, and the song is really a tribute to him and people like him. So it really spoke to a lot of our close friends, who helped us spread its message. Musically, it’s got a definite Beatsteaks-esque vibe, which is probably why German listeners seemed to like it!

“PULL ME UNDER”

Our last record – the Northern Lights EP had a song called “Roll The Dice” on it, which had a similar vibe to “Pull Me Under” – a bit slower, sludgier, and more alt-rock than punk. So this song feels like a bit of a bridge to the older sounds we were playing with while finding our groove – it feels like a bit of the old WYRES and the current WYRES coming together. It’s an older idea that we’d been tossing around for a while, but that never quite came to life as we’d had a few singers come and go before we even put ourselves out into the world. It’s definitely benefitted from a little time to marinate and then some new ideas peppered in.

“WILFULLY IGNORANT”

We had to come up with a name the day we uploaded the album to Spotify as we just couldn’t land on one and had run out of time – so it’s ended up being a fairly odd-sounding title! This one’s about how easy it can be to turn away from an issue you know is important – sometimes for justifiable reasons, and other times through selfishness or cowardice. The song itself is in an odd meter – the verse is in measures of sixes and then fours, and the bass in the intro purposely has no accents in it, so it messes with your brain a little as it tries to find where the end of the bars is. The vocal line helps you “tune in a little” and then the chorus is straight as an arrow – big melodies and big guitar hooks.

“THIS ISN’T LOVE”

If you’ve ever seen a homeless person taking meticulous care and pride in their space – a bus stop, a doorway, a spot under a bridge – you’ll get what “This Isn’t Love” is all about. Despite the title sounding like a romantic ballad, the lyrics are all about the failure of successive governments to tackle the homeless epidemic and the effect that’s had on individuals. Observing a person maintaining a level of dignity, routine, and familiarity in the face of adversity most of us can’t imagine really paints a picture of how difficult it is to know how to feel about the situation. The main riffs were written by our old guitarist, Simon Humphries, who was happy for us to continue developing the song and for it to be on the album. It’s become a really cool snapshot of a slightly different version of WYRES – it still fits within the sound of the album but has a slightly different vibe to it.

“FOLLOW YOU”

A love letter to still being in a band after so long, Follow You speaks to our combined history of playing together in various forms since around 1999. There’s an unbroken line where one band has morphed into the next, maintaining a core of characters that persists to this day – WYRES being the latest incarnation. Not every band has that, and we’ve also all personally been in other bands where there isn’t that same connection and it’s just never the same. It started out as a bit of a slow rock ballad – the chords and vocals were probably our most melodic and delicate of any song on the album. But the slow and steady rhythm just set it too far apart from the other songs to feel like part of the same body of work. So we changed up the rhythm to be bouncier and a little more “folk punk,” and the result was a song that sounded just as uplifting but that had a far more energetic feel to it.

“LOOK ALIVE”

We used to, and sometimes still do, end our set with “Look Alive”, so we weren’t sure how to end the song on the record – we usually do a “false stop” and then a big stadium finish live. We threw a few ideas around but finally landed on just doing the stadium finish on record too. It’s a bit cheek…in fact, it’s absolutely ridiculous, and we’re totally fine with that! the song’s about a few different things, but it roughly covers risk-taking behaviour and its potential effects. Some of the songs on the record are about personal experiences with friends, others are about bigger, broader themes. “Look Alive” is a bit of both.

“THE LESS THEY DREAM”

We had this idea hanging around for a while, and an early demo of it had a fade-out at the end – so we decided we shut add it to the record (which was initially going to be 10 songs), almost like a bonus “closer.” The fade-out meant it really had to go at the end, and sort teams up with “Look Alive” as a high-energy close to the album. We unashamedly nicked the idea from Belvedere – they close “Fast Forward Eats the Tape” with a song called “Anesthetic,” which as a fade-out. We all liked the idea of it, as you can put the record on loop and it feels like it fades out again at the start of track one. RX Bandits did something similar on “Progress.” We figured we’d try and emulate that – you can judge whether we pulled it off or not!

Source: punknews.org

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