Published Jan 18, 2019Wristmeetrazor is an alias as endearing as it is alienating. Similarly, their music conceives the tongue-in-cheek, opaque sentiment of screamo music and hardcore's current flirtation with metalcore revival.
The three-piece consist of Jonah Thorne (guitar), Justin Fornof (bass) and drummer Bryan Prosser (also of straight-edge hardcore act Inclination), who all contribute vocal duties throughout Misery Never Forgets. By way of their shared screams, growls and whines, Wristmeetrazor's debut LP is a lyrical inquiry into the darkest confines of the mind.
The compelling and shrieking "Expiry Date: 12 Hours" explores the destitute trauma of sleep terrors, and opening track "Loathsome" and first single "XOXO (Love Letter from a Loaded Gun)" are each pieces of poignant, blood-red emo ferocity. Musically, the tracks are equally as manic; a pitch-shifted visitation to Jeromes Dream, Drop Dead Gorgeous and the Blood Brothers.
Bits of Misery Never Forgets are crowded with brashness and sprechgesang. They are imperative pieces of the mesh shirt and white studded belt clad Wristmeetrazor vision, but just like it did in the early 2000s, it likely will not be welcomed with open arms by the hyper-masculine corners of the hardcore scene. "Of course they're a screamo band," Consequence of Sound sarcastically remarked during the promotion cycle for the LP.
Empty criticisms aside, the tawdry-titled "Come On In, the Water's Pink" utilizes dreary melodies with little confidence, and "In Line for Halos" is much less "emo-violent" (a quote from press release copy) and more of a distracted, desperate longing for flimsy melodies placed over piercing, dissonant metalcore passages.
The good far outweighs the bad on Misery Never Forgets, though. "Insecurity Checkpoint" is a pummelling and successful attempt to shatter the confining nature of screamo music through metallic hardcore venom that nods ever so violently to the panicky nature of Heavy Heavy Low Low.
The mostly-sung concluding track "No More Blue Tomorrows" opposes this fashion through doomy notation, but is just as compelling. "He Smiled from Ear to Ear" begins with a metallic frenzy of turbulence and leads into vulnerable melodic respiration, which best embodies the intent of Misery Never Forgets. Wristmeetrazor is a precise, emotionally draining and frenetic musical outlet, but all the more fascinating. (Prosthetic)