I’m instantly drawn to any band that is doing something different or unique within the thrash genre. While I’m a thrash fan I think the genres progression has practically hitting a wall. There’s not much innovation left in the genre and more bands are honored and revered for trying to sound as much like their 80’s counterparts that there’s few bands left nowadays trying to push the genre. While Wrathchild is not a current band, in 1991 I’m sure thrash had hit a similar wall as most of the bigger bands hand started to change their styles to get on MTV or whatever or tried to stay true to their sound. Thrash was surely oversaturated, which is why I bet an album like 3-D must have seemed like it was from fucking Neptune.
The thing is, it’s not even that much of a departure from thrash. It’s just the flourishes and influences they add make a whole lot of fucking difference. Sticking to the core thrash sound of their previous album, Wrathchild America start to mix up the song structures a bit, making them a bit more complex. This allowed them to bring in areas of influence from prog, blues, jazz, and even a bit of funk. And they fucking make it work without calling huge attention to it or trying to shove it all in your face to show you how deep they are as musicians. There could be a whole genre dedicated to flashy bands wanking off to impress their other 12 string guitar-ed mates nowadays but Wrathchild America is just like “here’s some new shit.”
And it’s fucking awesome. It’s still a thrash album but unlike any you’ve heard. Along with the varying styles and sounds there’s also a intoxicating sense of humor to album present in songs like “Surrounded by Idiots”, or the weird Waspy light jazz interludes during “Prego”, and their cover of bluesman Albert Collins “I Ain’t Drunk, I’m Just Drinkin’.”
This album is just a load of awesome fun, and a unique example of what can be done within an otherwise stagnated genre. I wish more thrash bands took this same approach.