Wreck the System: WreckFest (MUSIC REVIEW)
Convention season has begun! Maryland-based recording artists, Wreck the System are here to carry the spirit of the fan generation forward with their latest album, WreckFest, released in January of this year. Whether a first-time attendee or a convention connoisseur, the album serves more as an “audio experience” than a mere concept album. WreckFest successfully encompasses the sights, sounds, and sensations of the average fan convention. From the arcade setups and Dealers’ room, to hotel parties and post-con depression, it’s all covered. There’s even a little insight into con weekend relationships and the potential drama that ensues, even into the following year. Known for their high energy, positive message, and commanding stage presence, Wreck the System is looking to tear the roof off in the best possible way. Besides, is it even possible to open for Mega Ran and Sammus and not bring it?
WreckFest is the third release from the collective, but the first album as Wreck the System. The thirteen-track journey is told from the perspective of “Ian,” convention newbie and stand-in proxy for listeners at home. Though they bill themselves as a Nerdcore Hip-Hop group, Wreck the System infuse elements of Dubstep, Rock, Pop, and EDM to craft their sound. The quartet consists of LadyJ, Osiris Green, Twill Distilled and Cam3, all of whom both perform on-stage as well as produce recordings for the group adding even more depth to their sound profile. After the album’s intro, the ultra-catchy, EDM heavy “Culture Shock” sets the stage perfectly. The opening track accurately captures the feeling of that neophyte journey into con hall navigation, immediately followed up on in “Overload.” As much of a banger as WreckFest is you probably get the best sense of it under your earbuds (just don’t forget to share when you get back). The album’s not even 10 minutes in, and my Dopamine receptors are going off the chain!
As Ian is feeling a bit staggered with the experience, forgive your ears if you start feeling similar. “Overload” is the album’s shortest track at only 1:39, and it packs in so much! Twill Distilled sets the stage, and Osiris tears it down. The duo also boast some impressive accolades on their own. Osiris Green is an award-winning freestyle MC, while Distilled received training at the world-famous Peabody Institute in Baltimore. (Also check out “Hyrule the World,” the band’s newest project!) Once Ian’s nice and comfortable, the next tracks, beginning with “Live @ The Barcade,” see Ian and the audience completely immersed, while hopefully finding the setting all the more delectable. Just like any convention, you just have to pack in a few guests, and Mega Ran, Shubzilla, and MC Ohm-I bring their A-game as always. Thankfully, re-attending the panels are only a few taps away. “Con Love” tackles a topic that a lot of groups keep off the table oddly. Hearing LadyJ chop it up about anything (especially Steven Universe) should get you ‘feeling a way’ once you’ve made it this far. After a little spot of drama, Ian finds himself at a party, and the accompanying track is one of the standouts of this fantastic voyage
As individuals, each member of Wreck the System is an amazing talent on their own, and each has a few “moments” throughout the album. For example, if you’re a LadyJ head, “Girls @Cons, “Con Drama” and “Hotel Party” should be on constant repeat. If you weren’t already a fan of Osiris Green by now, the track “High as Shit” is looking to rearrange your worldview. The “Jack’n 4 Beats” 2015 Freestyle winner is the perfect wheelman as the album begins to wind down, relatively speaking. Singular talents aside, Wreck the System is an ensemble group and the “Hotel Party” track highlights that synchronicity superbly. Everyone shines here, as if someone started handing out Senzu Beans before the recording. The accompanying video is the best representation of some of the band’s underlying philosophy, its mission statement, so to speak — to “be who you are, without fear. Not to mention, truer words have never been spoken. Just ask me how they helped me tip my bartender. Long story, but you MUST see them live to get the full scope.
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Read more from Dom Watkins, right here.