Andrew W.K. - I Get Wet (2002)

 


Metal isn't all Satan worship and depression. There needs to be a lighter side, one with a fun twist. Enter the king of party metal, Andrew W.K. One part musician, one part television host, and ten part enigma, he made a huge belly flopping splash on the music scene with this, his debut album. And whether you are a frat boy, sorority girl, high school dropout, or just a metal head with a sense of humor, "I Get Wet" will give you something to smile about.

The first track is an announcement, and invitation to join in. The simple but effective "It's Time To Party" is a minute and a half of straight ahead punk metal, with Andrew W.K.'s raspy vocals convincing you to follow him into "Party Hard." The first single, and biggest song of his career, this one is fun from start to finish. The sound is huge, with multiple layers of guitar, bass, drums and piano keys. Lyrically, there are no surprises. You work hard, and so when the time is right, you must party hard. This will be the one to start your night. The surprisingly poignant "Girls Own Love" follows, with those signature vocals taking harmony to new places. It has all of the appeal of an 80's piano rock classic, but with a harder edge. This is like a sonic mullet; business in the front, party in the back.

You might feel you have fallen into a Nintendo game in the opening moments of "Ready To Die." But a strong kick drum beat leads the way, a constant thumping to urge piano and guitars forward. While the riff may sound familiar (the same basic structure is in nearly every song on the album), it never ceases to start a pit. "Take It Off" plays like an anthemic masterpiece, with the band creating a massive wall of distortion and melody, all at the same time. What can be said about "I Love NYC"? This is a true confession, in the catchiest form possible. And with  a simple lyrical hook, you will be singing along in no time. "I love New York City, Oh Yeah, New York City!"

Leave it to the master of partying to write an upbeat love song. On "She Is Beautiful," there is a short but sweet message, without becoming a sappy tribute track. A short guitar riff becomes a fountain of harmonies and melodies, built on the stability of that hammering drum. Even sharing the piece with Kelly Osbourne on his Ozzfest stint couldn't diminish the enjoyment. Possibly the heaviest track on the album, "Party Til You Puke" urges you to.... well, party until you puke. High speed and high energy are the name of the game. I challenge anyone to keep their fists out of the air on this one.

The final third of the album is exactly what you would want or expect from man in the dirty white t-shirt and jeans. Of course, a song called "Fun Night" isn't mysterious, nor does it have to be. Nothing intricate or wild, just good, straight up rock. "Got To Do It" and the title track, "I Get Wet" keep the ship moving full steam ahead. What stands out in this latter portion is that heavy piano riffing that may surprise many people. The final track is Andrew W.K. imploring you to live life at full speed at all times. "Don't Stop Living In The Red" is a summation of everything you my have learned from the album, complete with big finish organs.

Though his subsequent albums took a noticeably jazzy turn, Andrew W.K. chiseled his name into the metal scriptures with this one. His influence stretches far and wide, from the Ke$has of the world, to the new wave of American sludge in Blizzard At Sea. It doesn't matter if you are a beer enthusiast or someone straight out of "Revenge Of The Nerds." With the twelve songs of pure listening satisfaction, "I Get Wet" proves that anyone can party.

9/10

Official Site - http://andrewwk.com/