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World War IX - If One Of These Bottles Should Happen To Fall

    Ian Jane

  • World War IX - If One Of These Bottles Should Happen To Fall

    World War IX - If One Of These Bottles Should Happen To Fall
    Released by: Grady Core Records
    Released on: May 12th, 2015.
    Purchase From The World War IX Website

    Five tracks, that's it. The whole thing is over in under fifteen minutes. Recorded, mixed and engineered by someone credited as Jesse, World War IX's latest EP, appropriately titled If One Of These Bottles Should Happen To Fall, is pretty fucking rad. Their last few EP's have also been pretty fucking rad, so anyone familiar with the band won't be too shocked by this, but still, this is good stuff.

    Made up of a skinny, smelly looking flexible guy named Filthy Phill on vocals, a frustrated comic book artist named Justin Melkmann on guitar, Early Gates on lead guitar, Brian Jackson on bass and Jon Kleinman on drums this five piece from Brooklyn have been around a while now. They play a pretty straight forward blend of trashy, thrashy hardcore punk, channeling a very obvious Circle Jerks influence but throwing in healthy dollops of (good) Black Flag and occasional doses of party hard NYHC bands from the likes of Murphy's Law and No Redeeming Social Value. All of that adds up to FUN. Capital letters are intentional. We (meaning me) saw these guys a few years back at Punk Island and they were great.

    This latest EP though? It's different. Not in sound or in tone but in lyrical content. See, previously World War IX had been known as a party band. Almost all of their songs were about drinking, the things that happen when you're drinking, reasons for drinking, the after effects of drinking and… booze. You could maybe say that would make them a one trick pony but they did what they did well. This time around, however, things are a bit different. The sound remains the same and that sense of humor is there but, if the comic book included with the disc is anything to go by, Justin Melkmann's struggles with booze are no more. He's clean, sober and okay with talking about it. Not preaching about, just telling his story.

    That comes out in the album, but before it does we open with The King Of The King Of Beers. It's a catchy sing-along style track with a chorus worth of the gang vocals that accompany it. Phil pays tribute not only to the King Of The King Of Beers but also to the doorman keeping out the underage riff raff AND to the underage riff raff that snuck in through the back. It's a party anthem in the World War IX tradition.

    High Bottom/Low Life is fast, punchy and just as catchy. Maybe even more catchy. It's about doing what you like, and drinking and coping. “Doing what I want to, drink until I puke, then I get some on you…” you know. That type of stuff. Then it switches at about the half way mark (at 3:30 this song is epic by WWIX standards) to a different but equally catchy song. Maybe even more catchy than the first part, a mid-tempo chanting anthem of sorts where Phil's vocals really dig deep. The band kicks in, the speed picks up and the floor turns to the ceiling as the lyrics cover the inevitable freak out and the music moves to match. Punk rock can be smart and artsy and mean something… DRINK… DRINK… DRINK.

    The title track gets you belly up to the bar for happy hour, it too is a song about drinking BUT if one of these bottles should happen to fall… well, we'll get a pounding bass drum with a guitar over top and a sing along chorus, that's what. Justify drinking? It's not that tough, when one is too many and a hundred's not enough! This leads, quite appropriately, into Exhibit AA. The tone of the album changes here, and rightfully so. This is a track about the moral superiority that accompanies getting clean and sober when your friends aren't along for the ride. The chorus? I Won't Get Drunk Today. It's that simple. But this isn't a judgmental obnoxious preachy song so much as it is a sloppy, dirty punk rock song about at least trying to overcome a problem and finding alternative options to drinking - like masturbation. But really, yeah, AA isn't easy and it's not for everyone and this song makes that very, very clear.

    The EP closes out with Highest Of Fives, which was released as a single in 2014. This song, to the best of my personal interpretive abilities, is about getting the highest of fives from the nicest of guys. And that right there is good enough. It also touches on drinking but mostly it's about playing punk rock and getting high fives. As a big fan of high fives who has yet to give up drinking for masturbation (there's room for both in my life) this song spoke to me on a level the others did not. But really, everything on this album is fucking rad and if you don't listen to it you should.

    Like most WWIX releases, this one comes with a full length comic book written and illustrated by Melkmann. It covers what he went through as far as his problems with booze and how they wound up affecting his career in music, this album and more. It's a pretty blunt, slice 'o life piece well worth reading. It serves as a cautionary tale without preaching and it makes for a pretty entertaining look at booth the perils of boozing it up and life on the road with a punk rock band that hasn't ever achieved the sort of international fame that makes touring a viable career option.


    That was a lot to say about five songs, but hey. World War IX. You should listen to them because they're great.
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