Boston has been flourishing with a line-up of innovative and genuine punk bands for a while.  A lot of groups have been around for a while with deep roots; Sneeze is one of my favorite bands from that scene right now.


Sneeze is primarily a punk/grunge band that borrows elements from older emo-punk (think Pinkerton) and hardcore that offers an energetic, poppy, and overall dark sound.  Sneeze really excels at contrasting heavy, overdriven songs with consonant vocal lines, gratifying harmonies, and delicate, uplifting bridges.  Something that really defines this band is their continual evolution within songs – the writing is surprisingly complex and fast-paced, which keeps listening interesting and engaging.


Sneeze’s sophomore LP WILT is going to drop next weekend (June 14th) with a release show at O’Brien’s in Boston featuring our favorite Theo & Ovlov, punk homies Raw Blow, and Sweet John Bloom (best album cover of 2014).


WILT opens with the feedback driven heavy-hitter “Dirt Stache” to set the overall tone.  As a follow-up to last year’s “I’m Going to Kill Myself,” Sneeze still has their blown-out sound, but tighter vocals and more harmonies.  Overall production quality is up as well (thanks Justin Pizzoferato).


The record as a whole is really balanced, more-so than previous releases. There’s powerful back and forth between grunge and punk influenced tracks like “Septic Womb” and “Paste,” and dark pop tracks like “Urn Scents” and “Guilted Sex,” that are really representative of the album’s title.  There’s a beauty in melancholy and “wilting” that Sneeze can capture really well.  WILT sort of transcends the content of past releases and gets a little more serious musically and vocally – the songs make sense together and listening to the record feels like a natural progression.


Throughout the album there are a lot of subtle moments where songwriting shines through.  Notably “Wilt,” “Guilted Sex,” and “Center of the Crown” deliver memorable performances and showcase complex song structures that feel effortless to the listener.  Specifically the album’s closing track, “Center of the Crown,” offers dynamic loud/soft back and forth with an anthemic outro as Derek Desharnais screams “Well I guess I’ll be face down, Well I guess I’d be blown away” over weeping guitar.


I know these guys pretty well and this album I would recommend.  One of my favorite additions to this album in comparison to their older stuff is all of the “ooo’s” and “ahh’s.”  Usually I’m not a huge fan of non-lyrical vocal lines, but they are placed super well throughout the record (especially at the end of “The Naked Slug”).  Stand out tracks, include “Center of the Crown,” “Wilt,” and “Guilted Sex.”


Glory Kid LTD (Seattle) is putting out WILT and was kind enough to send the LP this week with a bunch of extras included.  Make sure you check out some of their other artists like Honest Abe and Raindance.




- Alex Bourne