After two years of radio silence, Bexley garage-rockers Wrath of Wednesday released its Musical Bears EP in July of 2017. The EP is made up of “some oldies, some newbies, and some you’ve never heard before,” leading to a mismatched composite of rock music that flows surprisingly well.
Two of the three involved in Wrath of Wednesday, Ben Ross and Isaac Roe, are also involved in another Bexley rock band called The District Lightbulbs. Similarly to RADATTACK and its group of Clintonville musicians, this speaks to the creativity and passion behind these high schoolers’ musical ability.
The EP opens with “Bienvenue,” a short track that serves as a smooth introduction, beginning with frontman Ben Ross saying, “Hey, guys, it’s been a bit, but we’re back,” before the track bursts into the garage-rock guitar riffs that have become the band’s trademark.
The second track is bitter, titled “Pretty Songs.” It’s a vengeful song, complete with angry, shouted vocals about how “I don’t give a f*ck about what you even think of me.” The guitar and bass licks are polished, with a nice ascending line about halfway through the two-minute track. “Tragic Mountain” follows in both sequential order and sound; the riffs are still rocking and catchy, but Ross’s vocals are lower and less harsh.
“Crisis” breaks from the mold; it opens with Ross telling a wild story about interacting with a strange woman while the anticipation-building guitar plays in the background. The story is interjected with the same several repeated lyrics throughout the track, and near the end, Ross breaks up the repetition with audio clips from the news, talking about the crystal meth epidemic in central Ohio.
My favorite track comes at the end, however. “Passing” is softer and a little more mellow than the other four, with lyrics about leaving home. It’s less intense, with only simple picking on the guitar and Ross’s vocals as he sings, “Lately, I’ve been measuring my days/Realized I don’t have time to waste/One more year till I turn the page/Say goodbye and head out on my way.” There’s a melancholy exhaustion in the track, as if Ross is resigned to the fact that he will have to leave and start over, but he’s not happy about it. He captures the gloominess of leaving well, singing near the end, “And it’s all gonna end/And I’m gonna miss all my friends.”
Wrath of Wednesday remains active, and in fact, recently put out a two-song release titled Privilege. It’s heavy but polished, and frontman Ben Ross’s vocals are low and smooth. It’s a more sophisticated sound than Musical Bears, probably because the two songs go together better than the mismatched tracks on the previous EP, but it points toward a solid future for the band as its members graduate and leave for college.