I admit, I wasn’t too fond of Andrew W.K. when I first heard him a few years ago. I found ‘Party Hard’ to be a cool single, but I couldn’t enjoy the album as much as I did that song. The song really set the tone for his style — fun and aggressively charged “party music” that utilize a combination of power chords, occasional solos (on a variety of instruments), and rapid keys. Those who considered him to be some joke may change their minds a bit after hearing his new album, Close Calls With Brick Walls, which will only be released in Japan, though I’m sure Western fans can get their hands on it if they really want to. Amazon is selling it for $37, but I’m sure Andrew W.K. fans will spare a night of partying to import the album. It’s probably worth it too, as this is the first album from him I am enjoying quite a bit. I just find it to be more diverse, while maintaining the catchiness that made him so popular in 2001 with Get Wet.
‘Not Going To Bed’ really reminds me of ‘Party Hard’, and it should do rather well (in Japan, at least) in terms of popularity. It is non-stop action just under three minutes with pointless lyrics inside a pointlessly fun song, with a few guitar and keyboard solos popping up along the way. ‘Slam John Against A Brick Wall’ is really fun though, if you just hang in there for a bit. Exactly one minute in, a very nice combination of brass and electric guitar is used, before the title is repeated over and over again in his anything but sober attitude. He actually wrote the lyrics when he was a preteen, as a taunt to his “semi-retarded” bus driver. The music is obviously recent though, as it is what makes the song enjoyable. ‘Pushing Drugs’ has plenty of those fun Andrew W.K. lyrical phrases such as, “Another hot shot in your mouth, and then you take your money way down south”. Good enough, and Andrew W.K. may be one of the only artists that brainless fratboys and depressed hipsters can agree upon, if they ever feel the need to wear football jackets and date blonde cheerleaders.