Wiped Out: Welcome To Fear City [Album Review]

Wiped Out
Welcome To Fear City
Otitis Media Records [2023]

If you’re a fan of surf music, then you’ll definitely want to check out Welcome To Fear City by Wiped Out. Originally released digitally at the end of last year, the physical record is now out and this album captures the essence of classic surf music with its upbeat rhythms, catchy melodies, and twangy guitar riffs while clearly having a modern take that also has some influence from their hometown of New York City!

The album opens with the title track “Dude, That Was Gnarly,” which immediately sets the tone with its lively drumbeat and cheerful guitar riff. The song has a vibrant, carefree vibe that’s perfect for cruising down the coast with the windows down or just hanging out in your city apartment on a Saturday night. “Bummer Vacation” is another standout track that showcases the band’s impressive guitar skills. The twangy, reverb-heavy guitar riff is instantly recognizable and will have you tapping your feet in no time and singing along with its vocal call outs.

One of the album’s more mellow tracks is “No Surfing In The East River,” which features a slightly slower tempo and an almost hypnotic guitar melody. It’s a nice change of pace from the album’s more upbeat tracks and shows the band’s versatility. Wiped Out also shows off their vocals on the later “Sweet Almond Eyes” that has a Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl” vibe to it with its harmony and classic doo-wop sway. The album’s closer, “One More Before Dark,” is a fitting end to this surf-inspired journey. The song’s breezy guitar riff and steady rapid fire drumbeat make it the perfect soundtrack for any activity you have going on!

Most surf bands visit and reimagine surf classics and Wiped Out is no different as they masterfully cover “Walk, Don’t Run” with the most famously known version by The Ventures in 1960. A lesser know cover track here is “The Hearse,” that was first released in 1963 by Al Casey with The K-C-Ettes and The Astronauts a year later, which if you are into surf music I highly recommend checking out these 60’s artists. Once again, Wiped Out make it their own.

Overall, Welcome To Fear City is a fun and enjoyable album that’s sure to please fans of surf music. Wiped Out have done an excellent job capturing the spirit of classic surf music, while still infusing it with their own unique style. So if you’re in the mood for some catchy, upbeat tunes that will transport you to a sunny, surf-filled paradise, then be sure to give Welcome To Fear City a listen.

“Dude, That Was Gnarly” / “Welcome To Fear City” / “Bummer Vacation”

The Routes / The Ventures / Terremotor

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Christopher Anthony
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