Wonton Soup // Thank You, Come Again
Recommended Track: Daydream (Headache)
Ventura’s Wonton Soup are still in dogged pursuit of the young punks of the year award on second EP Thank You, Come Again, a fun if slight little slice of adolescent angst that solves some of the problems from band’s first EP and offers a few pointers on where this band might go once they outgrow their underoos.
Whereas I found previous offering Hot Dog to be enjoyable if derivative, Thank You, Come Again does a better job of folding the obvious influences—Blink, FIDLAR, Audacity, Weezer—into a more individual sound. This probably has very little to do with a conscious effort on the band’s part than the natural side effect of a steady diet of touring, writing, playing and listening to more records. They’re just a better band than before, and on best track “Daydream (Headache)” Wonton Soup show off a natural proclivity for crafting catchy pop-punk songs that are sugary without being saccharine and thoroughly enjoyable on their own merits without resorting to a list of similar sounding records.
The rest of the EP is a little schizo as is wont to happen when a band packs 6 months worth of ideas into 4 songs. The elements are good, but the resulting Frankenstein is only recommendable in parts e.g. enjoy that retro-bop intro to “Youth Nothing” because it’s about to change into something entirely different. I liked Frights-esque second track “Normandy”, possibly the first punk song ever about the invasion of Normany, for Tyger Hernandez’s strong vocals and the cool organs adding an unexpected flavor to the pot. Overall there’s not much to hate except the fact the drummer can’t really keep up, something that’s made too obvious because all those lagging fills and snappy beats that come just a fraction too late are right in the front of the mix.
Ultimately youth is the sound, the scene, the smell of this EP. Its charms may be lost on those of us who lived through any flowering of pop-punk, but never mind us anyway. That guitar-heavy breakdown in “Tweenage Riot” is primed for a mosh pit filled with young bodies hopped up on fruity liqueur while twangy “Youth Nothing” is a typical “you don’t UNDERSTAND” parting ballad that descends into a Weezer-esque slowed-down outro complete with squeaky-clean guitar noodlings and thundering cymbals, a rhythmic trick that’s not lost any potency 20 years onwards. This EP may be uneven but Wonton Soup is on an upwards trajectory. Thank you, I will come again.