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First Listen: Basics "Welp."
A blazing second EP from the Wichita Falls Emo/Punk trio
Wichita Falls Emo/Punk trio Basics is back with a blazing five-song EP — “Welp.” — and the offering constitutes a refined and evolved release for Basics, with emotional songwriting and punk rock attitude.
I was extremely honored to get an invite to hear the EP early. Vocalist and guitarist Austin Rupe sent me a message asking, “Hey you wanna be the only other person to have heard our EP?” and my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t wait to press play, and when I did, the evolutionary leap forward from Basics was immediately obvious. Lucas Armendariz from Spark Music recorded and engineered the record and incorporated some phasing and delay and other production tricks that give Welp a polished sound.
The lead single from Welp is the final track, Darles Chickens, a track Rupe describes as being about “how sh*tty my family [was]…” In essence it is “just a letter to my parents through the story of Matilda,” Rupe says. The track is an excellent choice for a first release and exudes the irreverent attitude of Weezer and others.
Track four, DNR, is a personal favorite of mine, which seems like a strange thing to say once you consider the meaning of the song. “DNR is about my profession,” Rupe says. “I work for hospice and I essentially set up deathbeds for people and make friends with them until they die, and [then] I have to pick up their equipment.”
The lyrics to DNR break your heart — “Used to this, you get used to this. Easier, it gets easier” — but the song is incredible, with heavy guitar, and it’s obvious catharsis for Rupe.
Bassist Trevor Teague and Drummer Maycen Walker both spread their wings on this release and get to show their skills. Maycen’s fills on track one, Fold Out Couch, are notably well-placed. Rupe says the song is about “unconditional love from the perspective of a person who doesn’t mean shit to the other.” Likewise, Maycen is great on the second track, Mediocre, which showcases some pretty amazing bass runs and licks from Trevor Teague, too. Mediocre also features some of my favorite lyrics on the EP — “Fall asleep in the basement, cuz we were up all night with our face in the pavement.”
Track three, Not So Flat Stanley, hits me as the most relaxing song on Welp, and Austin said simply, “NSFS is about how I miss every single friend I’ve ever had.”
As I write this, the release of the full EP is four days away. I’ve been listening to Welp all weekend, and I am so thrilled and honored to have had the chance to review it early. I’m not blowing smoke when I say it’s thoroughly enjoyable and excellent.
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