The Wrong Ones, Deceiver

The Wrong Ones, Deceiver

Rather than mine the pop-punk-y hooks that’ve become the template for the vast majority of punk bands lately, or even really hew close to the garage-rock that’s surged to the surface in recent years, on Deceiver, The Wrong Ones dive straight into the gutter. And while they’re down there, they mix it up with a whole lot of early NYC glam and sleazy, scummy metal, getting and giving a bloody nose and some ripped-up knuckles in the process.

More than anything else, what this album makes me think of glam-metal forerunners Hanoi Rocks — like that band, The Wrong Ones ride the line between New York Dolls-style punk and flat-out sleazy, girls-and-blow metal like Faster Pussycat or L.A. Guns. Take a listen to the guitars for proof; for most of the album, they’re pretty basic barre-chord street punk, but guitarists Brandon Bombshell and Steven Paradise are no one-trick ponies. Just when you think, “eh, plain old punk rock, nothing much different,” they throw in some genuinely grimy-sounding solo licks (wow; haven’t had to use that term in a long damn time), as on “Demolition,” “Spit,” or closer “Dead Already.”

Unlike their glam-metal brethren, however, The Wrong Ones are full of snarling punk braggadocio, to the point where I’m pretty sure these guys would (and could) stomp your ass into the pavement for looking at ’em the wrong way. Hell, there’re times where the pseudo-nihilistic “fuck everybody” feel seems so over-the-top (especially on opening track “Unemployment”) that I have to wonder if these guys are serious or are just taking the piss.

Frontman Jarett Neurotic seems as serious as a heart attack, though, and he and his bandmates have crafted a cool, tight, raw chunk of street-level rawk that feels nearly out of its time, like it stepped off a cassette bought back in 1984 and is adapting itself to the modern, computerized, iPod-ready world we live in these days. It’s sleazy and messy, with a handful thoughtful moments (see “Doomsday Transmission” for one), slashing punk chords married to metal solos, and the occasional honest-to-God catchy hook (I’ll have the one from “Spit” stuck in my brain all day, and “Dead Already”‘s chorus is right behind).

In a way, listening to Deceiver makes me flash back to those high school days when my metalhead buddies and I would fantasize about what we would do if only we could, about all the partying and girls and whatever the hell else, and fuck The Man. Unfortunately for us, we were marooned in semi-rural Central Texas, so our nights of wild debauchery usually didn’t make it much further than us driving around the neighborhood at 1AM blasting metal from the stereo in my friend Lee’s battered station wagon. Deceiver would’ve fit the bill perfectly (and yeah, I mean that as a compliment).

[The Wrong Ones are playing their LP release 7/3/11 at Fitzgerald’s, along with Hell City Kings, Secret Prostitutes, Chelsea Hotel, & The American Heist.]
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Review by . Review posted Sunday, July 3rd, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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5 Responses to “The Wrong Ones, Deceiver

  1. Bill Fool on July 3rd, 2011 at 9:47 am

    We have also added Chelsea Hotel and American Heist to the bill. Plus you get a free copy of the record with paid entry. Hope to see ya there.

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: The Wrong Ones (Reviewed!) + Tape Deck Mountain (MP3s!) + The Live Lights + More on July 3rd, 2011 at 11:26 am

    […] First on my list is the biggie of the night, up at Fitz, where local sleaze-punks The Wrong Ones are celebrating the release of their debut(?) full-length, Deceiver. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit lately, and it’s pretty damn addictive, I have to say — the band skips backwards in time to play in the murky, drugged-out neighborhood inhabited by folks like the New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, and The Stooges, welding glam-y metal riffs and solos to stomping punk rhythms and fuck-it-all nihilism. Check out the full review over here. […]

  3. Jeremy Hart on July 3rd, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Cool; I’ve added the new bands to the list — thanks!

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Concrete Blonde + Anthrax + Ghetto Dinner + Fiskadoro + Boots Electric (MP3!) + More on December 11th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    […] has a good one tonight, too, with sleazy, glammy rockers The Wrong Ones, whose most recent release, Deceiver, is pretty dang […]

  5. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Riot Grrrl Dance Party + The Wrong Ones + Allen Stone + Indie! Or Die! + Roxy Roca + Grady Gaines + More on May 17th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    […] take on punk, and with Infinite Hallucination, they’ve managed to one-up 2011′s Deceiver very nicely. I’m still frantically scribbling out a review of the album, but so far […]

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