Considering the lineages of those who have preceded them, a certain career path can be extrapolated for WACO. On the same plane as other more indie-leaning acts (see Tigercub, Brawlers, Allusondrugs et al), it feels as though the UK-spanning crew will see the hype build around them off the back of a string of EPs, only for the majority to have moved on by the time an album comes around.
But honestly, this could be the exception, as Deathless sows the seeds for something huge to come in WACO’s future. Put another way, it achieves the same effect for indie-punk and post-punk as Vukovi’s debut did for pop-rock – taking a genre where the ideas have started to bottleneck, and throwing healthy doses of much-needed excitement and giddiness. Even though these five tracks do revolve around a theme of love and relationships (Best Friend is probably the most overt by that token), there are fresh ideas thrown around, as though current conventions for WACO are of little consequence.
The biggest factor in this is frontman Jak Hutchcraft, with a highly regional, highly animated voice that ricochets off any stylistic shift here. Just take Mother Mercy, which spends almost six minutes swerving around widescreen alt-rock, theatrical flourishes and downplayed piano passages, but never even comes close to flagging. The rest is a bit more straightforward – probably the weirdest is Coolangatta with its blasts of horns – but there’s undeniable character in pretty much every facet of WACO’s existence, and it remains irresistible.
This is a band still very much in its infancy as well, and that WACO already have an identity that’s workable to such a high standard sees them ploughing ahead at an alarming rate. Deathless is one of those EPs that breaks apart the mundanity of a lot of British alt-rock for something a lot more vibrant and limber. It definitely helps that WACO are right in line with homegrown rock’s more organic direction too, and in a prime state to fully explode if given the right push.
For fans of: Single Mothers, ZOAX, Puppy
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Deathless’ by WACO is released on 2nd June on Venn Records.