Young punk musicians are powerful, but female punk vocalists are paramount. Sarah Greenwell is a prime example of this. Greenwell, lead vocals of GYMSHORTS, shows just how salient powerful female vocals are in today’s music.
As noted, Sarah Greenwell from Providence, RI is lead vocals and guitar for the up and coming skater punk band, GYMSHORTS. When listening to their newest EP, Wet Willy, you almost feel as if you’re skating through your hometown on your brand new skateboard, eating a burrito, and scaring the absolute hell out of everyone. Every young person’s intention, correct? When the band members of GYMSHORTS (Sarah Greenwell, Andy Davis, Chris Faulkner, and TJ Freda) were asked to describe the music they played, they explained it as “surf-fuzz demons hangin’ ten on a tsunami sized wave” and referred to themselves as a “4 piece lo fi-surf punk rock fantasy”. Honestly, what sounds better?
Wet Willy, released in 2016 on Burger Records, is a 4 song, 11 minute argument with your unfair parents, friends, and everyone else who has pissed you off within the past 6 months of your life. With tracks like Copycat and Burrito, this EP is sure to get you through that last semester of high school or a hard day at work. Alongside the crucial lyrics, the artwork portrayed on the EP cover itself is an interesting portrayal of an intense wet willy.
As far as the individual tracks go, here is what I can say. You learn at the very beginning of this EP, during “Copy Cat” that Sarah isn’t here to play around; she’s here to pump out intense guitar riffs and scare you. Track 2, “Browned Out”, is a little more melodic than the first track, accompanied by an insane rhythm. The third track, “Burrito”, well the name pretty much sums it up. It is a very intense way of telling everyone around you that you need a burrito. I think we can all relate to this song at some point. “Burrito” was written while Sarah was working at a burrito shop back home in Providence, OH. If you were wondering, Sarah’s dream burrito consists of rice, lettuce, cheese, Pico, salsa, guacamole, maybe some corn, no beans, and no sour cream. “Do You Wanna” is a little slower-paced compared to the EP in its entirety. I really enjoy the fact that they chose this song to end this wonderful EP. This is the longest song on the EP which gives you time to get that next album ready for the turntable.
Overall, I give this EP an 8.5/10, and GYMSHORTS an overall 10/10. The creativity that comes along with this album is overwhelming. The only con that comes along with this release is its short length. Which only gives you a small taste of what GYMSHORTS has to offer. GYMSHORTS will be on tour March 5th- March 23rd playing several venues on the East Coast before heading down to Austin, Texas, to perform at SXSW, a huge opportunity for this band. GYMSHORTS is a band that may not be in the current spotlight, but will continue to grow and form a larger fan base. If you can catch this band on their current tour, I would highly encourage it. For now, grab your skateboard, tell all of your friends about this super powerful group, boycott the barber, and scare the hell out of everyone in your hometown with your obnoxiously loud music about burritos.
You can stream Wet Willy at https://open.spotify.com/artist/7beEZjleJaaPl01bT6S4bz, or watch our prior interview with them from last July, here: http://www.altphilanthropy.com/band-interviews/gymshorts-interview!