The slow, yet powerful instrumentation is my favorite aspect of this five-track EP. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals are wonderful and unassuming, but it’s the pairing of the vocals with the fantastic instrumentation that really makes this EP shine. “Please Don’t Let Me Go” is a great example of how Plush shows off their instrumentation. The use of a harder electric guitar in contrast with a more beachy guitar and a hefty amount of percussion is perfect. There is even this great build towards the end that slowly winds down–and then the song just ends. Similarly, “Sheer Power” starts off slow and mellow with a subtle electric guitar. About mid-way through, the instrumentation just erupts, pairing well with the increasingly charged lyrics.
The lyrics in Please are emotional and intimate, yet somewhat distant. The lyrics off the EP have this push and pull between “I want you” and “I don’t want you.” Interestingly, most of the songs don’t have distinct choruses. When they do, they are often repeated lines like “But please don’t let me go” from “Please Don’t Let Me Go.” I also love how “Sheer Power” ends on the lyric, “I have the sheer power of/ knowing I still haunt you when I’m gone.” It’s such a punchy way to end a song. By ending the EP in “Fixes” with the lyrics, “There’s no fixes left to try,” they end this collection perfectly.
“Skinned Teen Zine Machine” is the shortest of all the tracks at 1:17; it comes and goes like a bullet train. Beginning with electric guitar and quickly accompanied by drums, the fast pace of the track enables Wolf Girl to put a lot into the song. The instrumentation feels very Ramones–they even throw in a few “ba ba ba ba dah”’s very reminiscent of “I Wanna Be Sedated”–although Wolf Girl’s version has a slightly different rhythm. Wolf Girl also ditched the idea of a chorus, leaving the track with two jam-packed verses. One of my favorite lines is “Cassette culture taught me I ought-ta/ Press record when I’m bored.” Wolf Girl fits fun and pizazz into such a short song.
The longest track off the album, “Sourpuss” (3:34), has a slightly slower pace, while still maintaining Wolf Girl’s signature spunk. “Sourpuss” begins slowly with the electric guitar and picks up pace once the drums enter in, although not quite as fast as “Skinned Teen Zine Machine.” There is also an impressive electric guitar solo and short instrumental interlude, giving this track fewer words than the shortest track.
The lyrics of this track provide a little snapshot of a few kids at a party, describing them “In a backroom at a party, avoiding all the fun.” Then, at the chorus the singer pleads, “Bury me in awkward poetry.” By the end of the song, the kids are “In a bathroom at a party, the countdown’s just begun / Your head in the bowl and you’re puking loudly,” the “party” here of course being that of New Years. The lyrics of We Tried capture awkward young adulthood at its finest.
We Tried does a great job at encapsulating what punk rock is all about– awkward teenage angst.–Krisann Janowitz