When he was a member of Wanted Man, Johnny Fantastic told DCMD that DC’s music scene was “almost like a wine tasting and it shouldn’t be like that. It should be someone smashing your face with a wine bottle!” The current lineup that includes Kenny Pirog, Rick Irby and John Scoops delivers that bristling energy on Wanted Man’s new self-titled album.
Wanted Man opens with one heckuva face-smasher, the ironically-titled “Slow and Steady.” Martial drum thwacks count off seconds before the high-octane guitar whiplashes you through the song’s brief 1 minute, 10 second runtime. Other songs, like “Desiree,” with its waltzing rhythm and doo-wop-esque backing harmonies, are more slow and savory. “Gun to My Head” combines the best elements of both–raw guitars, a strong rhythm section, harmonies dripping like honey – into one intoxicating mixture, that, like the burning dollar on the album’s front, goes up in the flames of the band’s raucous delivery.
The whole album draws on older, finely-aged styles like rockabilly and blues (even the album’s cover has a celluloid tint to it) that the band then imbues with the raw power of punk and the updated garage-rock of bands like the Black Lips. It’s an expert mix of craft and chaos. The bottle’s smashed, but the music still has legs.
Wanted Man will play their album release show at Black Cat on June 16. Listen to the new record here: