When I was 15/16 years old, you wanna know what I was doing? Jerking off, and begging strangers that seemed the perfect mix of sympathetic and old to buy me and my shitty mates booze. I thought Wavves were edgy, and that taking a girl to Maccas and shouting her lunch was a “pretty good first date”. I knew I was smarter than everyone, and that when I was a millionaire from all that punk music (read: THE NEW NOFX ALBUM) I would take a big ol’ shit on the lawn of everyone who said that I was weird because I listened to “Enter Sandman”. Doncha know that’s fucking metal?
It wouldn’t be until about a year later that I went through the enlightening discovery that there was more to Australian rock music than Powderfinger, but this story ain’t about me. As intriguing as it would be to recount just how many Prodigy CD’s I bought, this reflection of who I was at 16 is less of an attempt to trace everything to the exact point of when I realised how much of a fucking loser I am, and more of a gobsmacked appreciation of Wet Blankets.
Wet Blankets is the project of Zane Gardner, a bloke straight outta Geelong. I refuse to call him a kid, because he’s got his head screwed on better than the majority of fuckwits that run this country. Furthermore, he’s evidently got a damn fine music taste, judging by the way he propels through his debut album. There are touchstones throughout the ‘Rise of Wet Blankets’ that sure as shit put my high school musical obsessions to shame. Whereas most teenagers are happy to numbingly plod along to Disclosure and Selena Gomez, Zane has obviously been thrashing The Reatards, Dead Boys and Cosmic Psychos. Fuck, I would’ve killed to have had the foresight to give those artists a chance and to have sought them out earlier than I did.
‘Rise of Wet Blankets’ doesn’t even stretch for 20 minutes, but the amount of sweat, puke and fuzz that’s loaded in here could kill an unsuspecting high school student faster than synthetic weed and a free period with nothing to do. The guitar solos on here are as deranged as an ‘Nam flashback, the yelling and screaming puts spoiled rich kids to shame, and the dark humour wouldn’t feel out of place in a Bret Easton Ellis novel.
What makes this record so impressive is how organic it feels. Zane mmade one actually?doesn’t shy away from his age, or try to mask it with some sort of bullshit maturity. No, the repulsion for the kind of shit that annoys people under the age is rampant in the record, like hating on school in “Kits”, dealing with dipshits on “Marge is A Wet Blanket” and struggling to sleep on “Fridge Too Far”. You know why you can’t sleep? You’re too fucking loud!
From the first second, to the last, this record is relentless, a no holds barred cage match of ear-bleeding guitar. It’s the perfect record to encapsulate the teenage experience, with all its acne and inability to talk to girls. And what’s more, its music that won’t make you ashamed to have listened to in your pimply years – Wet Blankets is a band that can, and will, be adored at all ages.