‘Quit while you’re ahead,’ the idiom goes, but on the evidence of WALL’s first – and only – album, it’s a shame that these New Yorkers are disbanding before things really got started for them. A corrosive spew of gloomy, dissonant post-punk, that breathes with all the filthy hum of their home city, Sam York is a fearsome ringleader, channelling monster-baiting nonchalance into ‘Save Me’ and pissing off would-be critics with ‘High Ratings’.
‘Untitled’ is about as New York as the world’s biggest apple, stacking up fearsome guitar lines that bite and roar like a clapped-out Cadillac careering down the freeway, and exuding a dark, menacing smog that never clears. Though the band’s touchstones are perhaps obvious ones - churning up tinfoil-coated Velvet Underground, the chaos of The Fall, and the fuzzing static of Television - WALL don’t wind up sounding derivative.
Hurrying urgently down the rushing veins of every song, colliding surreally poetic lyrics with thumping racket in a tense, on-edge mess, ‘Untitled’ could well’ve put WALL on the same trajectory as their equally absurdist contemporaries Parquet Courts. Still, que sera sera. Whatever this lot are going onto next, they’re a talented bunch, and their future projects are worth watching out for.