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Review: Wargasm - Why Play Around
Wargasm
www.facebook.com/WARGASMwpa
Why Play Around

Label: Profile
Year released: 1988
Duration: 43:39
Tracks: 9
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 22, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
for:
Why Play Around

Rated 4.17/5 (83.48%) (23 Votes)
Review

Originally released in 1988, Why Play Around? is the debut album from Wargasm, a thrash band from Massachusetts, an area NOT known for its vibrant thrash scene in the '80s. Much of the thrash around at the time Why Play Around? was released fell into the Bay Area, New York/New Jersey or European styles which had all become well defined by this time but also a little stale/generic. Wargasm, perhaps because of their location, didn't sound like any of these styles (not entirely, at any rate) and that is one of the reasons it was popular back then (I had a friend who played it all the time) and remains so today despite flying under the radar of many fans both then and now.

Side A (it was a vinyl album I played on my college radio show back then, and it is a cassette version I picked up on a recent Bandcamp Friday that I'm reviewing) is a masterclass in combining infectious catchiness and pummeling riffs. "Wasteland", "Revenge", "Bullets & Blades" and "Undead" are a murderer's row of songs that will stick in your head after smashing your eardrums. The barking vocals, pounding drums and killer lead work combine for one of the more original sounds I can think of. Sure, there are hints of Slayer, maybe a little early Metallica and even a whiff of Hardcore but, honestly, saying Wargam sounds like any of those things is way off the mark. It is angry yet melodic, thrashy yet traditional. Side B lacks the catchiness of Side A, but closer "Humanoid" will take your head off if you aren't careful.

I suspect most die-hard thrash fans already own this album, but if not and especially if you have had your fill of the rigidity of the '80s scenes and their associated revivals, what are you waiting for?

Additional Information

2016 reissue reviewed.

Other related information on the site
Review: Why Play Around (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
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