WALL, “High Ratings”

JP Basileo

A band like WALL couldn’t just disappear, not without [at least] one last “fuck you” to societal complacency and the mindless priorities of a jaded majority. “High Ratings,” the first single of their posthumous/debut full-length, Untitled, is a sardonic critique on the never-ending struggle for recognition in the rat race of modern life. The guitar bursts in, tumbling over its own feet, and as jerky as an anxiety attack after realizing a the wrong thing can’t be unsaid in a job interview, OH NO.

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The song alternates between this disjointed restlessness and a more steadied, catchy rhythm, upon which Samantha York’s fortified vocals bolster things like, “Validate me,” and, “Competition / Self-promotion / Oh, we’re all guilty / It’s never enough.” It’s a grand-scheme contrast between a forced participation and an illusion of self-satisfaction, played out in both rhythm and melody, the bass and guitar almost taking turns in seeing who can make you sweat bullets. Your image can’t matter that much, because you don’t matter that much…they seem to say…and in the bluntest way possible.

Untitled is out April 29 on Wharf Cat.

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