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If there's one thing I love about heavy metal, it's that it is totally unafraid to extrapolate things to their ultimate, ludicrous limit, and then headbutt it over the edge, just to see what happens. And in that sentence alone, I've probably managed to alienate half the readership at the prospect of taking *anything* musical to such an extreme, and alienated the other half by daring to call Andrew WK heavy metal. I'm not entirely sure what genre he is, to be honest - his stuff is played by a metal band, but is so 4/4, major chord pop music orientated the combination borders on the hyperactive - it's like stepping on a landmine filled with candy. Or chewing on a firework wrapped in bubblegum.
There's almost no point in trying to describe the songs individually, as they're all basically the same thing. Take one part Van Halen, two parts Ramones, add a dash of Meatloaf, chuck in three gallons of glucose syrup and rocket fuel, bung it in a blender and then hit PULVERISE, and throw the contents down a microphone and through a set of production values that makes Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound' seem like a small pile of LEGO bricks by comparison. If there's one thing to be said for Andrew Wilkes-Krier's approach, it's that he doesn't do anything by halves. This album sounds absolutely massive - mission accomplished on that front, then.
When Andrew WK entered, no *gatecrashed* the music scene in 2001 (cripes was it really that long ago), he was derided as being a plastic, manufactured product, a false persona of the 24-hour party his songs champion. Sometimes, a bit of context can go a long way to putting an album into perspective, and having seen a few candid interviews with the guy, and read a few fan accounts of their encounters with him and it seems like he isn't just a stage persona, he really is 6'3" and 200 pounds of living PARTY - he even walks around with a bag of lollipops to throw to his fans when they recognise him, just to make their day a bit better. In a genre that flirts with dark subject matters or is openly gloomy and desperate, it's sometimes easy to forget that way, way back in the days of Elvis and Chuck Berry, rock and roll was primarily all about having fun; AWK hasn't forgotten this at all. Videos of his live performances corroborate this, so I can't really knock off any points for a lack of authenticity or clever marketing.
He's also slipped off the radar in the last few years, perhaps because he's a one trick pony, but since he's been releasing albums full of improvised piano music exclusively for the Japanese market I suspect it might have more to do with the fact that he's utterly shredded his vocal cords, all in the name of having a good time. There isn't a single song on here that is sung, or indeed could in any way be sung - with song titles like 'Party Til You Puke', 'She Is Beautiful' and 'Don't Stop Living in the Red', they can only be chanted, bellowed and roared at FULL VOLUME. Even a review of this work demands an excess of shouty, capitalised letters to do it any kind of justice. As AWK says on opener 'It's Time to Party', 'if you're doing it slow, you're doing it wrong' I can only but agree with him- I'm even ready to let the ungrammatical title slip. Goodness only knows how many times at dingy rock clubs, in a semi-drunken haze, I've been yanked onto the dance floor by the unstoppable force of 'Party Hard', only to wake up with whiplash and a post-apocalyptic hangover and not really care cos it's all been worth it.
This is a big, loud, dumb irrepressibly happy piece of work, that can only be served louder than everything else, preferably at an all-nighter with all your mates and several crates of beer. It's the way Andrew would want it.
Andrew Fetterly Wilkes Krier as is he probably isn't known to his friends is an artist with a strange story behind him. Upon releasing this, his debut album, 10 years ago he was seen as the next big thing by media such as the NME and was featured on the cover and the subject of numerous features.
However, commercial success never followed and his work has been plagued by various controversies and legal disputes. After the release of the album he was the subject of conjecture that claimed he was nothing but a manufactured artist and basically a puppet of other people within the industry. 'Steev Mike' was one such name that was associated with such talk. He was credited as executive producer on this album and numerous statements were made saying that he was the puppet master. Legal matters concerned with the ownership of Andrew WK's image and recordings have meant delays in releasing other albums.
Now, either these claims are true and the artist is nothing but a creation or Andrew WK is a classically trained musician who spent his youth in numerous bands before moving to New York to pursue a solo career. To be honest, I couldn't care less either way as this album is brilliant! It wouldn't matter if it was released by the coolest band in history(whoever that may be) or whether it was released by the latest X-Factor winner, the music is 35 minutes of full on, cheesy, heavy, sing along fun that I'm not tired of even now!
'I Get Wet' was released in the autumn of 2001 to a storm of controversy. The album cover depicts the artist with blood streaming from his nose and the conservative buffoons who seem to have a say on anything remotely outside the norm decided that this must mean he is endorsing cocaine usage!
Despite the increased press coverage the album sales limped along and didn't come close to troubling the album chart top 40.
The album begins with 'It's Time to Party' and this sets the tone for the rest of the album - almost every song is about partying! It's 1½ minutes of stomping guitars, shouty vocals, smashed drums and keyboards.
Debut single 'Party Hard' follows and this track reached number 14 in the singles chart providing probably his biggest hit. Almost everyone(aside from 'serious' music fans) loves this song even if it takes them a couple of listens. It's very dumb but ultimately fantastic! I'm of the opinion that music should be enjoyed and this song and album is just the most fun you will ever have. The video for this track is still played on stations such as Kerrang! To this day. Anyone who does not like this song should be thoroughly ashamed!
'Girls Own love' is about as close to a meaningful Andrew WK song as you are likely to get! That's not to say it's in any way deep but it's about how girls usually have the power in relationships and can manipulate men if they want..
'Ready to Die' continues the incessant pace without any lyrical meaning but again you can't help but love the song and this rolls straight into 'Take It Off' without pausing for breath.
Next up is 'I Luv NYC' and it's a rare change of pace on the album. It's slightly slower than the rest and to the lyrics are terrible, even by the rest of the album's standard!
Second single 'She is Beautiful' is the fastest love song I've ever heard and is just about a beautiful girl! Probably my favourite song on the album .
'Party to you Puke' contains arguably the worst lyrics of any song ever written. It basically lists things to do at a party but its still amazing. 'Fun Night' is yet another party song and then comes 'Got to Do it' which is another slightly slower track that's about not giving up. At almost 4 minutes long this is the longest song on the album!
Title track 'I Get Wet' is the penultimate song and it's another blast of energy that's about absolutely nothing at all.
'Don't Stop Living In The Red' rounds things off and it's the worst song on the record.
I don't know what frame of reference to use for this album. Its metal, but it's too uplifting to describe it purely as that. Pop-Metal? Party-Metal? I don't know but rock bands at the time were nothing like this.
The only criticism of this record is that it doesn't have much variation and this makes it a difficult album to do track by track athough at half an hour long there isn't really time to notice.
All in all, this is the most joyous and uplifting album you can ever imagine. On the days when you really can't be bothered this is like 100 cups of coffee and it's almost impossible to not shout out all the words at the top of your lungs. I can't begin to explain why this album works. It should hate it, it should never of been worth a second listen, but it's got something and that something makes it an exhilarating classic.
*This review is my own although I may post it elsewhere.
I Get Wet is a very strange album; it combines gritty vocals with intense guitar work but has a party-like vibe that would make you think that it's actually a pop album. It is short, sweet, and well worth your time. Here are my favourite tracks:
It's Time to Party = it's only too apt that this is the first song, because virtually every song on this album sings about partying. It doesn't have complex lyrics, but it's loud and fun, and will have you wanting to mosh or dance.
Party Hard = Andrew W.K.'s signature song and their first single, this is a great tune that has a retro feel with its high-tuned guitars, and it's clear that they all had a lot of fun making it. A frequent song played in rock clubs.
Ready to Die = a bit of a break from the party vibe, this is a darkly comic song where he tells the listener to "get ready to die" in increasingly scary and aggressive vocals. It's totally intense and a nice change from the other songs.
She Is Beautiful = probably the best song on the album, this was quite a successful single and is simply Andrew W.K. talking about how incredibly beautiful a girl is. It incorporates brilliant guitar, piano and vocal work together to make this a classic.
Party til You Puke = indeed, the party vibe doesn't die down for long, and here we get an incredibly fast-paced song that doesn't stop to think and just rolls with its unrelenting intensity. Very fun for the dance floor! Again it has a very distinct retro feel.
This album is VERY short, but it totally works in its favour as it never gets stale, and W.K. is smart enough to balance out all the party songs with a few left-field ones thrown in. A great party album, this is insanely catchy and a fine pop-rock offering.
How do you classify Andrew WK? Party metal? That can't exist can it? Pop metal? Maybe, though images of a resurrected Def Leppard do nothing for me. Completely, utterly stark-staring mad? Absolutely. The cover shows Andrew WK with blood running down his face from his nose, presumably from partying too hard. The sleeve notes scream a huge 'PARTY HARD' with our Andrew moshing like a good 'un in front. 'Party Hard' is metal's version of 'Fight For Your Right To Party' - dumbed *down*. It's an absolute riot - a single that should get any party swinging (and moshing). Andrew WK goes for it at full pelt and provided you can keep up, three minutes of sound paradise is yours. But then you listen to the rest of the album and you realise you're not listening to different songs, but the same song just played at slightly slower (relatively-speaking) or faster speeds with Andrew WK. 'Party Hard' was great hearing it first time round, but hearing it for the tenth or twelfth time wears down the nerves. The pace is never less than frantic, meaning the whole band sound like a squadron of Duracell Bunnies who have overdosed on Red Bull. An injection of this kind of energy is what many bands could do with these days, but these guys seem to not have heard of the 'off' switch, meaning that the energy just keeps on sounding more and more fake. Or maybe these guys really *are* this keen to party. A very unsettling and slightly scary thought... Combined with their names - Jimmy Coup, E. Pain and Sgt. Frank are the guitarists, for example - the whole band seems to be an eighties rock group you only just avoided hearing about. But in that era you could get away with three guitars, numerous charges of indecently masturbating fretboards and keyboards undergoing assault and battery. Andrew WK seems like a good bloke, but he's turned up 20 years or so too late for the real party. Having a single like 'Party Hard' is absolutely great, but a whole album just means Andrew WK looks more and more like a one-trick pony - the album is getting three stars purely on the basis of that song. Granted, there are some attempts at vaguely softer stuff, but this just gets buried by that uber-metal voice and the monstrous guitars. Andrew WK will have to prove everything in his second album (if there is one) if he's going to avoid charges of being a novelty act. *** Revised on 02/12/02 - This opinion was an 'end of night' job originally so it wasn't my best work. Given it a few nips and tweaks and bulking out so you get more of the ol' edmundoconnor style you know and love.
If you saw Mr WK in the street; long greasy hair, tea stained white t shirt and tight faded jeans, you would probably be able to guess exactly what his album sounded like. This transparency, or honesty, for the more complementary, is an inherrent trait of Andrew's music and his lyrics. It could well be argued that nothing completely new or necessary is being done here but, without using the tired old "it beats the other stuff around at the moment" line of argument, i think we can find stuff of great value on this album. If you like one track, you will like them all and by the same measure if you hate one track, you are pretty unlikely to venture further. However, while this may suggest that all the tracks sound the same, repeated listening just makes the album better and better, as the tracks begin to stand out in their own right and display their individual strengths. The style owes a lot to 80s stadium rock but then so do most things in the world today. The music, despite its very heavy electric guitar wall of sound aspect, is pretty poppy and most of the songs are written on keyboards and built up to be really, really loud. Andrew himself said "i wanted to make the most exciting music possible." Also the "honesty" of the music is not necessarily a bad thing. There is a very positive attitude behind Andrew WK's work hard, party hard ethos. He believes himself and everybody else to be capabke of anything. His faith in the human spirit is positively uplifting and one thing that (i hate to resort to this sort of comment but it is interesting to note) you wouldn't find on a Radiohead album. There i've said it. 1. It's time to party The blueprint for the album is layed down in less than 2 minutes with this exillerating tsunami of pop rock. Try turning it off now! I mean, er don't try turning it off. 2. Party hard The breaktrhough single (kind of) and Andrew's real anthem. "
you work all night, and when you're working you feel alright." Despite the parental advisory and the bleeding nose i maintain that no album could set a better example for kids and adults too of how to get the best out of life. 3. Girls own love Andrew's manly side coming through. "you've got to make her understand that you are the man!" Is this album accessible to the fairer sex in general? hard to say. i do know several females who like it so i suppose it depends on how much you let such things define you. 4. Ready to die "you'd better get ready to die" this could be taken as a threat but i see at something quite different. Getting ready to die surely means doing what comes before death, ie. living. another rousing party track that gets people on their feet, and some poeple out of the room granted. 5. Take it off So there 6. I love NYC Andrew's anthem to his hometown. It is very difficult to jump around the room for the entire negth of this album but its sometimes more difficult not to. 7. She is beautiful Another single. The end of the video was very symbolic. Andrew finished singing and pulled his mic out of the socket. As the sound was cut off the entire power to the neighbourhood was cut off and all the streetlights went out. The message is that Andrew WK supplies energy to America. how true. how true. And, as a friend of mine pointed out, how lovely to be able to like someone so much so as to be able to yell "she is beautiful" unashamedly to the whole world. 8. Party till you puke not a standout track but another title HAD to have the word party in. 9. Fun night Try stopping him have his fun. i think one of the b sides was called "we want fun" too. 10. Got to do it a slightly slower one but still has to be listened to whilst jumping up and down and spilling beer, or tea, down your t shirt. the
message remains clear: you must LIVE, not just EXIST. 11. I get wet God knows what exactly this means. Is Andrew proud of a social phobia that brings about a nervous physical disorder, is he extremely horny, extremely sweaty or did it just sound like this when he was shouting "i can't wait". maybe all of the above. Anyway, i think this is the best track on the album. the trumpet/keyboard/whatever it is intro immediately shoots people into the air and everyone is helpless and resistance is useless. "i get wet without even trying". so will you. 12. Don't stop living in the red Andrew gives his views on how best to manage your money and what wise words they are. so wise that there arent REALLY any other lyrics to this amazing outro song. money IS evil so you should never have too much of it. And with that the album is over, MUCH TOO SOON.
When you first see the cover on Andrew WK's album - I Get Wet, you think that it would be an album that you would never buy, and thats what I thought! However, after hearing Party Hard a few times on the radio, it really grew on me. I downloaded it from the internet, and it was one of my favourite songs at the time. When I heard She Is Beautiful I went and bought the album. I paid £8.99 for this album, and it is worth EVERY penny. Most of the tracks sound the same which can make it sound repetative. Most of the tracks are only about two minutes long, which means the CD itself ends after about 30 minutes. If you are in a traffic jam on a motorway, look around and you'll be able to tell if anybody else is listning to Andrew WK - They'll be banging around the car! Its a good album to relieve stress to too - just put it on very loud and trash the room - you will feel better afterwards! Great Album - Buy It!
If, like me, you're getting a little sick of the music press hyping-up American acts in order to find the Next Big Thing (tm), then you are quite justified in being very sceptical of our man Andrew WK. Sure, the Strokes are great, but the White Stripes sound like buskers trying to play Royal Trux, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are sixth form Jesus and Mary Chain obsessives and the Hives are far too rubbish and ugly to be in a band (I know they're not American, before you start). At first, Andrew WK seems like one big fashion-mag joke (and perhaps he is). The description "21st century Meatloaf" tends not to be thrown about without some hint of knowing irony, usually favoured by chimps with fin haircuts. So, it came to be that I decided that I loathed Andrew WK, with all my heart...that is, until I heard 'Party Hard'. Basically, 'Party Hard' sounds like the most cathartic piece of cock-rock, you have ever heard. Not only is it very, very funny, but it genuinely stirs the emotions, making you want to punch the air and guzzle pitchers of beer, which I'm guessing was the intended effect. Here's the picture if you don't already know; Andrew WK is a 22 year old that hails from Florida, but recently moved to New York. His music sounds like AC/DC, Guns n' Roses, Ugly Kid Joe and Van Halen, but without the girly ballads and guitar solos. And yes...21st century Meatloaf isn't the world's worst description. No, no, no.....come back....he's good....honestly. It's hard to imagine that this man isn't one big joke, but he constantly protests that he is for real. He has a message too, our boy Andrew, and it can be summed up in the following mannner....PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTY AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tracks on 'I Get Wet' include 'Party Till You Puke', 'Time to Party', 'Party Hard', and then a slight variation on the them
e 'Fun Night'. Andrew WK wants you to have the best time that you possibly can have, to do everything to the extreme, until you are sick, or die, and then to carry on partying some more. 'I Get Wet' is a little like the feeling when you realise that you are very, very drunk, dancing inappropriately, and feel quite sick, but don't care. It batters you round the head relentlessly with 80s metal in 2002 clothing, for its brief 37 or so minutes. If this album was two minutes longer it would be unbearble, but Andrew WK, takes you to the brink of how many virtually identical songs you can hear about partying, and then its over, and like after all the best parties, you are left feeling, woozy, exhausted, excited and trying to piece together exactly just what happened. Naming individual songs is a little futile. 'Party Hard' is an obvious standout track. 'She is Beautiful' has a earth-shuddering riff with Andrew WK shouting 'SHE IS BEAUTIFUL'. 'Party Till You Puke' has an earth-shuddering riff with Andrew WK shouting 'PARTY TILL YOU PUKE'. 'I Get Wet has an ea.....you get the picture. Only 'Got to Do It' varies slightly, because it features a trumpet and is slightly less maniacal than the other tracks and features the lyrics 'You gotta do all the stuff that you love'.....a great sentiment in these times of whining boys with acoustic guitars singing crap like 'Don't you know you got your daddy's eyes/ and daddy was an alcoholic'. You'll either love this album or hate it...I won't blame you if you don't like it, but I look at it like this: either Andrew WK is one big joke, and it is avery funny joke....or Andrew WK is for real, and this is very funny too. Either way, the music is ace, so leave your scepticism at the door and give him a go. "Everything is worth trying once" Mr. WK claimed once in an interview. How right he was.
You may not have heard of Andrew WK yet, butit’s a safe bet that you will before long. Seems to me he could even be the next big music megastar. But it could go either way... Take the cover of the album. It has a photo of Andrew WK with a bloody nose. It's surely meant to look like he’s been in a fight, but it could just as easily, as far as I can see, be from a nose bleed - somehow he doesn’t look all that, you know, hard, or fearsome, or all that rock and roll, even. I believe that Mr WK is known for banging a brick against his head. Great idea – instant parental disapproval there – so far so good. The photo on the back is less remarkable, however, with Andrew looking like a greasyhaired kid who’s about due at his Mum’s to get his jeans washed. He could either be viewed as ultra-cool, or as ridiculous. He’s just 22 years old, from LA originally, and latterly New York, and we’re told that the W.K stands for White Killer, after a serial killer. On to the music... Again, it could be the next big thing… or maybe not… The single “Party hard” was released around a month ago, I heard it in my local record shop and it blew me away, it had ‘instant hit’ stamped all over it, in my view. It’s not in the charts as yet, though – so much for that! Jo Whiley played it a lot – I guess it may not appeal to the 10 year olds who buy most stuff in the charts. The song itself is a glamrock-fest, high octane stomping rock, very much along the lines of Kiss, but, better than that, Cheap Trick (remember them?). The lyrics are very simplistic – things like “Let’s get a party goin”, (kind of like the Beastie’s “fight for your right to party” chorus), and very, very easy to sing along with, even if you’re drunk. Most of the musicians playing with him on this album have a spee
d-metal background, but I’d say Andrew WK is sheer powerpop, the kind where I’m just gonna have to turn the volume UP. The album sounds remarkably like it could have been released in the 70s (with Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper as reference points), and it starts with a fanfare on opening track “I get wet”. A glance at the rest of the titles on the album gives you some idea of the mentality – “It’s time to party”, “Party Til you Puke” and “Fun night” are good examples. With “Fun night” some 80s style synthesisers supplement the guitars, but somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. You could call “Girls Own Love” a song about love, though probably by someone who hasn’t really got a clue about romance (well, what do you think, with lyrics like “you’ve got to make her understand, that you’re a man”). More gentle is “She is beautiful”, which slows down the pace, keyboards to the fore, and once again I am blown over by the resemblance to Cheap Trick. Note: for me, this is a bonus – I love them, even own their CD box set. Mostly, the tracks on “I get wet” are rockers, and I think my favourites are the ones with the word ‘party’ in their titles. The songs are ludicrously simple, and they’re often grunted / shouted, rather than sung, but, through it all, although I suspect I shouldn’t like it, I really enjoyed the album. It’s a bit like when I first played my Gary Glitter album – I knew it was derivative, but it was just so... distinctive, and made me want to go out and have a good time. Andrew WK came to fame as a sort of protégé of Dave Grohl’s, after opening for the Foo Fighters. Whether he’s destined for superstardom, or obscurity, I don’t know, but he’s certainly made an impact on me.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 It's Time To Party
2 Party Hard
3 Girls Own Love
4 Ready To Die
5 Take It Off
6 I Love NYC
7 She Is Beautiful
8 Party Til You Puke
9 Fun Night
10 Got To Do It
11 I Get Wet
12 Don't Stop Living In The Red