It’s about time that Wallflower made a proper breakthrough. For what feels like forever they’ve been a ubiquitous presence on the smaller festival and all-dayer circuit, riding off the inertia of heavy championing from Decade, Knuckle Puck and Milk Teeth amongst numerous others. It’s the textbook tale of a young emo band in 2017 hitting heights entirely through their own merits, and Where It Fell Apart closes this chapter with the tangible new material needed to push them over the line to something potentially great.
Clearly that title is the sort of miserable-at-best attitude emo bands often deign to give themselves, as Where It Fell Apart is exactly the sort of release that Wallflower need at this point – comprehensive and never outstaying its welcome, but highlighting every strength that’ll set them in good stead for the future. And that attitude is definitely present throughout; this is certainly a bitter listen, taking venomous shots at not only the adversary unfortunate enough to be on their receiving end, but reflecting back on themselves in a way that sets a track like Lilith beyond self-deprecation to borderline nihilism.
Of course this is hardly new ground for emo, which is why Wallflower stepping into darker territory with much of their work is welcome. There’s still the bleak, sunken guitar lines that simmer in the background for the most part, but there’s also the terse electronic drums and throat-ripping screams of Splintered and the minor-key surge of Seventeen that also serves as proof of Wallflower’s ability to pen a monster hook. Even if the Boston Manor comparisons are practically force-fed throughout, it’s always impressive to see a band bare their teeth like this without reservation, and the latent, curdling frustration gives an already compelling showcase that extra push.
Already Wallflower are stepping out and delivering work that’s as impressive as it is jagged and rough around the edges. That’s entirely welcome though; in an environment like today’s where a new band can thrive without compromising their sound, there’s real evidence here that Wallflower could pull off something truly marvelous in no time at all. For now, Where It Fell Apart is the short and dramatically misnamed prologue to where things get exciting.
For fans of: Boston Manor, Decade, Citizen
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Where It Fell Apart’ by Wallflower is out now.