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July 23, 2024

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Broke Down (Doctor Dream Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Hailing from the punk mecca that is Orange County, California, Welt once again re-enforces the idea that there is still strong punk music coming out of this region. A powerhouse of a four-piece, their brand of punk is both stunning and melodic. Produced by Descendents/All members Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton, they really captured the band at their best on this disc.

Those infamous, chunky peanut-butter bass intro's I love so much in punk music just happen to kick off "Broken," so right from the beginning they had my full attention. The furious guitar may lead the song, but it is the team work of the tremendously powerful bass and the drums that hold the song together. Fierce punk down to the core, each corner the band turns only unravels more fist-pounding punk. A metal-to-the-petal number, the band keeps the pace at a fast, steady pace throughout. Mixing '77 style punk rock with some melodic pop-punk, they really know how to get your motors running. Everything but, "Lazy" once again finds the band hard at work. Stuffed with melody, they never loose site of their goal to make you feel the heat. Capable of getting you to sing, dance, and bounce around with the pop they do have, the real movement comes from your body following the intense assault these guys lay down on their instruments. The guitar is able to churn out thick power chords, or jump to some nice lead work, while the bass keeps hammering its mighty sting into the side of the band. Always the most intense piece of the band, the drummer's relentless assault keeps both the listener's and the band's hearts pounding. "Something To Believe In" just keeps the music coming. A bit slower this time around, the band takes a few moments to slow down while the vocals emphasize on some words, but this is only occasionally. The majority of the song is still pretty intense and fast-paced. These guys just don't believe in rests. "Rhetoric" finds the band in overdrive, playing twice as fast as some previous cuts. Don't even try to move in time with this song, you're liable to break something. Most likely your arms, legs, and head. Then again, this song is so intense, playing at neck-breaking speeds, your body will avoid any cautions I might throw out and move along to the music anyhow. That's the great thing about it, the music is just too fast and aggressive not to want to have fun with. "Everything's O.K." starts out with the vocals shouting out some words over the stop-and-go of the band. Crashing down, the drums impact the words, while the sudden stop of the band helps to drive the point home even more. Then the sudden go again of the band really drives through your body. Do this a few times, and you've got a real hook of an intro. From there, of course, they speed through their two minute and fifty second punk number at racing speeds. A dash of pop here, a lot of aggressive beats there, and an amazing amount of energy and you have a song that will not only make you sweat while you listen to it, but you'll be sweating twice as hard when your body forces you to move with it. "Wrong" starts out with a typical punk intro, standard power chords played thick over the intro words, then the whole band comes in and starts to just rock out. Nothing that hasn't been done before, except when Welt does it they do it with such catchiness and energy, you'll fall for it once again. Ending with "Can't Believe," they take the closest thing to a break that they'll ever now. Playing mid-tempo punk, they lighten it up from their usual load and slow it down during a lot of the parts.

It's been proved time and time again, Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton have a great ear for talent. The recent bands they've been producing have been some of the best punk bands to come out of the late 90's. Welt is no exception. Powerful, intense, and non-stop from the get go, these guys will be making a name for themselves in the punk realm. I'll give this CD an A.

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