Andrew WK – I Get Wet (Island/Def Jam)
Extremism in the defense of fun is no vice, one can imagine Andrew WK stating. His debut record I Get Wet is the most powerful, brutal pop music you’ve ever heard, but still, it’s pop. The short and simple melodies and chugging guitar chords might be reminiscent of the Ramones were they not wildly overdriven and layered so densely. Andrew’s personal philosophy is to live everything to the complete extreme and it sounds so. The production is akin to what was once called “industrial” music, but through the layers of distorted guitars and incessant drums, genuine pop melodies shine. Andrew doesn’t sing as much as yell on tone. The lyrics — songs of partying sung as aggro as possible — complement both the industrial timbre and the catchy melodies. “We’re not gonna die! / You can never kill us! / Party ’til you puke! / Party ’til you puke!” he shouts. Escapism has never sounded so heavy. This is a truly wonderful record.