Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

Edited.

#1 Edited by Bruce (5264 posts) -
Achieving this look is harder than it seems. Trust me.

(the following two paragraphs loosely explain what I've been up to + coincide well with this album)

Believe it or not, Mr. college senior over here hadn’t been to a party until shortly after his twenty-second birthday. My next door neighbor rented out a large room in the local community center a month in advance, and spent over twenty five hundred dollars on the booze alone. The night of the party, I showed up a few hours early and helped her arrange the tables and some of the refreshments. It seemed harmless at first, a bit boring even; the atmosphere came courtesy of a fog machine and some projector lights she had rigged to the ceiling. The DJ was in his early forties, spinning Lady Gaga remixes, and was ridiculously into it. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of this.

But man, once people showed up and things got going…I discovered what a party is supposed to be: It’s getting drunk off your ass with a girl you don’t even know and falling all over the dance floor together; it’s setting the record for jello shots (sixteen, by the way, to everyone’s chagrin who wanted some); it’s being repeatedly propositioned outside by a creepy woman, twice your age, while her brother, dressed like a matador for whatever reason, encourages her; it’s listening to a self-declared tramp in her fifties tell you that you’d be perfect for her youngest daughter, “wait here, papi, I’ll go get her”; it’s watching a drunk guy crash down the steps and slash his arm and forehead on one of your neighbor’s commemorative wine glasses, and then following the breadcrumb trail of blood later on in the evening when everyone finally realizes he’s missing; it’s letting go of yourself until you’re left in a wasteland of red plastic cups and a destroyed beer pong table, trying your best not to ice skate all over the slippery floor; it’s waking up in the morning, hungover to all hell, with a bunch of new friend requests on Facebook; it’s having fun.

I Get Wet was first released back when I was far too young to understand it, so hurray for arbitrary rereleases! I mean that sincerely, though, for I doubt I would have revisited it based solely on so-so nostalgia for “Party Hard”. The ten year anniversary package not only gives fans extra demo takes and live content to dig through, but also reintroduces the record to kids like me who can’t get fucked up listening to the Ramones. It ain’t quite hard enough. (No disrespect, though; love me some Rocket to Russia.)

As energetic and raw as Andrew W.K.’s music feels, particularly his guttery vocals, the songs are heavily processed, and one could go as far as to argue entirely artificial. But that’s okay! Uppers and Downers have chemical compositions and derivative formulas, too, but still do the trick just fine. Regardless of how many rock ‘n’ roll standards are riffed here (no pun intended), and how similar each song is to the next, you can’t help but be carried along for the ride.

“Take It Off” and “She is Beautiful” are offenders of the sweeping chorus sort. The latter I’m totally cribbing in its entirety for my future wedding vows. Meanwhile, the former will blast at the reception as we all drunkenly scream its grandiose chorus: “Forever and ever! TAKE – IT – OFF!”

“Girls Own Love” is the closest I Get Wet comes to a ballad. It’s three minutes of awesome rock ‘n’ roll call and response, with W.K. delivering some rather clever lines: “She gets off without you, and when you get it up, she’s‘a putting you down!”

If you’re looking for some good ol’ fashion thrash punk, “Party til You Puke” has got you covered. Whereas “Got to Do It” takes motivational speaking and successfully turns it into shameless arena rock. (Which is the best kind.)

In case its opening trumpets weren’t literal enough, “I Get Wet” is Andrew W.K.’s victory lap. Blunt as hell, fun, spontaneous, catchy, and brilliantly simplistic…it’s the album’s inevitable thematic conclusion.

All in all, I Get Wet is a record built on immediacy. No need to look up the lyrics, because there aren’t any pretentious allusions or cloudy statements. No need to analyze the riffs, because most people with a guitar, and some experience playing the damn thing, can probably bang out most of them by ear. However, there is some deception going on. Although not an idiosyncratic record by any means, the influences borrowed are carefully selected. The end goal here is to have fun (direct emotional response), and not a single verse, guitar part, or chorus is misused toward that goal. Each song gets exactly what it needs, nothing more. (Think Hemingway and other staccato prose writers.) By editing rock ‘n’ roll down to its most basic, primal form (vocals, piano, bass, drums, and guitar), Andrew W.K. creates pure sensory indulgence; he sparks moments of excess using music which thankfully doesn't partake in its own drug. In other words, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a night of not giving a fuck and waking up with three or four numbers written on your hand. And yeah, it's a great rock album, too.

#2 Posted by Milkman (16800 posts) -

It's literally impossible for me to listen Party Hard and not sing along to every single word.

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

...I missed the part where the transition between this CD and the party made sense, I guess.

I'll save the album for another time, as I'm in a very hip-hop mood at the moment.

#4 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6198 posts) -

Be grateful you weren't in college when this album came out. It's a hell of a fun set of songs, don't get me wrong. But man, everyone played that shit 24/7. It just got old for me, really fast. Still, it was a million times better than the douches playing Dave Matthews all the time in the world's most creepy and obvious attempt to look like an intellectual and get women.

Moderator
#5 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@Little_Socrates:

I haven't done a blog since April, so that bit is A. Partially getting to some of the things mentioned in my conclusion and B. Explaining WHY I haven't done a blog since April. If it came across as sloppy, I apologize.

@Sparky_Buzzsaw:

Moderation, good sir! But what you're saying is a good metaphor for the partying lifestyle in general; shit gets old quick, so enjoy it while you're still an undergrad.

#6 Posted by Fattony12000 (7416 posts) -

Andrew's best work:

#7 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6198 posts) -

@Bruce: Good points, but my dorm room sat on top of a frat house. For me, there was no moderation of party music save for the sweet, sweet release of my headphones. To be completely fair, at least one of their head dudes banned any and all Creed, country music, and Counting Crows, among a sea of other shit. That guy's a personal hero.

Moderator
#8 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw:

I dated a bartender whose dad owned a Moroccan joint in Manhattan. Dimly lit by candles, and all they played was fucking World Music and remixes of Sting's "Desert Rose". I feel your pain. lol

#9 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6198 posts) -

@Bruce: Hah! Oh, I think that trumps mine by far. I can't stand world music, unless it's at the title menu of a Civ game.

Moderator
#10 Edited by hojufixter (109 posts) -

Clicked on this post in the forum hoping it was Andrew WK related. Was not disappointed. Saw him perform solo in Sydney back in May. He truly is a one man party.

#11 Posted by hojufixter (109 posts) -
#12 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

Oh. I think I like this.

#13 Posted by TruthTellah (9104 posts) -

@Fattony12000 said:

Andrew's best work:

That was actually fantastic. I've never been a big fan of his, but he seems alright. :)

Online
#14 Posted by Fattony12000 (7416 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@Fattony12000 said:

Andrew's best work:

That was actually fantastic. I've never been a big fan of his, but he seems alright. :)

Of course it was fantastic, I posted it.

#teamfantastic

#15 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw:

Ugh, the food was so fucking petite, too. It was an awful time in my life. lol

@hojufixter:

I'd love to see him live, but I think he already left New York.

#16 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I'll check out the album later, I've never really listened to any of his stuff before. He seems like a bro though, I watched that video of him trolling the juggalos at the gathering and it made me laugh.

#17 Edited by Ben_H (3361 posts) -
@Bruce: He's still in New York from what I  can tell (he runs the Santos Party House doesn't he?). He had a live stream on last night. He spent about 3 minutes playing stuff on a synth then proceeded to scream into a mic to see how it would feedback. It was pretty awesome. He seems like a super nice guy even though he's completely insane. 
 
Also, the title track of "I Get Wet" is probably in my top 5 favourite songs. The whole album is infectiously happy, which is exactly what I need right now. You can't listen to that album without smiling. 
 
Edit: also if you get into a "who has more volume from their headphones/car stereo" competition with someone you can pick basically any song from this album and win convincingly because it's mixed for pure volume. This annoying guy at my work always blasts his stereo in his car too loud and listens to garbage music so I pulled up behind him when he was in the parking lot, opened all my windows and blasted "Party Hard" at full volume and drowned him out, which is hilarious because I just have the "premium" stock VW soundsystem and he's invested like $500 in an aftermarket stereo equipment.
#18 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@Ben_H:

I thought he was touring to support this rerelease and left for Europe? My mistake!

#19 Posted by ShaggE (6456 posts) -

I've always given his music a miss, but I like him in interviews and whatnot. The guy's just so damn happy about everything.

#20 Posted by Ben_H (3361 posts) -
@Bruce said:

@Ben_H:

I thought he was touring to support this rerelease and left for Europe? My mistake!

Oh I don't know. His stream last night looked like the usual room he streams from.
#21 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@ShaggE:

It might not be your thing, and that's totally fine, but I recommend at least giving the album a once over. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

#22 Posted by ShaggE (6456 posts) -

@Bruce said:

@ShaggE:

It might not be your thing, and that's totally fine, but I recommend at least giving the album a once over. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's definitely on my to-hear list. As often as I see it praised by writers I respect, I'd be crazy not to give it a try.

#23 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

Can we talk about this business a little bit ago about Andrew WK saying he's not really Andrew WK? Or more specifically that's he's an artist who was hired to portray Andrew WK, boy band fashion, and that he isn't the first guy to play the role?

Also, yes this album is amazing, but to the guy who said everyone palyed this album when it was new... where are you from? When this album came out, it was a breath of fresh air for me becuase NOBODY was listening to or playing rock music at the time. Hip hop and pop music dominated everything. Even alternative rock stations started playing hip hop and pop music because there wasn't anything else making traction unless you were Korn or Limp Bizkit or something...

#24 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@JazGalaxy:

I don't really pay any attention to the Steev Mike stuff. I don't care who wrote these songs, really; they work.

I grew up in a rap dominated area, too, so I didn't hear this record at all when I was younger. I'm glad I waited to listen to it.

#25 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Bruce said:

@JazGalaxy:

I don't really pay any attention to the Steev Mike stuff. I don't care who wrote these songs, really; they work.

I grew up in a rap dominated area, too, so I didn't hear this record at all when I was younger. I'm glad I waited to listen to it.

I was, I think about 19 or 20 when I first heard Part Hard and I was utterly destroyed by it. I love rock and more specifically punk rock and I had been starving for music to listen to. It was the days before the internet struck in full force and Napster/kazaa were still building steam, I think. Seeing Andrew WK and Party Hard on MTV in the middle of the night blew me away. It wasn't just awesome, is was incredible and unrelenting in it's awesomeness.

That being said, I was very personally invested in Andrew WK as an artist. It was so much the better that he seemed like such a cook dude and was relentlessly positive. I can say now that he was honestly something of a hero or role model for me. It defintely made me think about trying to be more positive and handle situations like Andrew WK might. (Seriously, if you havne't heard the guy speak, do it. It's a treatise on how to win friends and influence people.)

That said, the idea that it was all a corporate sham and instead of being counter culture to what was going on at the time, he's just a boy band for young men... well, that upsets me a little.

#26 Posted by Skyrider (351 posts) -

@JazGalaxy: I might be wrong, but I think he said that just to confuse people. You know, because he's Andrew WK. He says a lot of strange stuff (you should watch some of the lectures he's done).

Anywho, I also recently got back into his music. I was 12 when I Get Wet came out, and I didn't even know The Wolf existed until a few years ago. Both are absolutely fantastic and rank among my favourite albums, and I don't even particularly like going to parties (granted, I probably would if any of them played his music. Sadly it's just rap and Top 40 and occasionally wubwub). I've also really enjoyed watching some of his live performances from the early 2000's, especially footage from the tour where he broke his foot and performed in a wheel chair.

#27 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Skyrider said:

@JazGalaxy: I might be wrong, but I think he said that just to confuse people. You know, because he's Andrew WK. He says a lot of strange stuff (you should watch some of the lectures he's done).

Anywho, I also recently got back into his music. I was 12 when I Get Wet came out, and I didn't even know The Wolf existed until a few years ago. Both are absolutely fantastic and rank among my favourite albums, and I don't even particularly like going to parties (granted, I probably would if any of them played his music. Sadly it's just rap and Top 40 and occasionally wubwub). I've also really enjoyed watching some of his live performances from the early 2000's, especially footage from the tour where he broke his foot and performed in a wheel chair.

yeah, I was inclined to believe that he was just being weird. But, truthfully, so much of his story just doesn't fit. I mean, even when he was brand new, I thought there was something off about his persona. He was a little too good looking to be a metal head. His music was too 80's inspired to be scene stuff, his persona was a little too well crafted to just be about a weird guy being weird. And then when I heard him sepak and found out he was actually highly intelligent and an accomplished pianist, I was like... alright... this doesn't add up.

THen after his music started flailing a bit he's on tv hosting a game show on cartoon network.

I dunno. It's strange.

#28 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4605 posts) -

WHEEEEE

#29 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@MarkWahlberg:

Que paso?

#30 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@Sparky_Buzzsaw said:

Be grateful you weren't in college when this album came out. It's a hell of a fun set of songs, don't get me wrong. But man, everyone played that shit 24/7. It just got old for me, really fast. Still, it was a million times better than the douches playing Dave Matthews all the time in the world's most creepy and obvious attempt to look like an intellectual and get women.

Oh yeah, did you have people blasting Sublime's "What I Got" 24/7 thinking they were being uberchill too?

I absolutely love I Get Wet, I remember it being a staple of parties a decade ago with everybody drunkenly playing air piano to it. That album is pure distilled fun!

I actually saw Andrew live earlier this year doing his ten year anniversary tour for the album and that concert was insane! Him and his wife are just livewires of energy on stage and had the party rolling way into the night. Highly recommended live act.

#31 Edited by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

Bruce is back!......interestingly enough Andrew W.K. is more popular in Japan than in America, he even has a few Japan-exclusive albums.

#32 Posted by RandomHero666 (3181 posts) -

Pretty easy to achieve that look actually, he said in an interview he smacked himself in the face with a brick for that pic

#33 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@RandomHero666:

Ever smack your face with a brick? Sort of hard to get that, uh, going. At least psychologically speaking.

@Guided_By_Tigers:

Hell yeah!

#34 Posted by Skyrider (351 posts) -

@RandomHero666: It's pig blood. He did smack himself in the face with a brick, but he didn't bleed enough for the picture.

#35 Posted by aurahack (2271 posts) -

I was expecting a blog talking about how fucking boss that album is and you delivered. There's a stupid energy to that album that I fucking adore.

#36 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@aurahack:

Thanks! :)

#37 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

I would happily punch the guy in that poster. I'd do it for free.

#38 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@FourWude:

Of course, you would! :)

#39 Posted by HellBound (1117 posts) -

I will never forget Party Hard because the first game I ever got for the gamecube and the only game I ever had for like months was Madden 03. I didn't even like football.

#40 Edited by Meltac (2002 posts) -

@Bruce, you need to check out Death Grips ASAP. Would like to hear your opinion on them. Both Exmilitary and The Money Store are worth checking out, but Exmilitary is free, so that's probably the best to start with, though their style is slightly different from album to album, which I appreciate.

And once again, great review/blog-post!

#41 Posted by LikeaSsur (1532 posts) -

Nothing about your party scenario sounded fun. Maybe I'm too old, but getting wasted around people I don't know sounds like a terrible time.

#42 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

This is awful

#43 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

I have that effect on woman.

#44 Posted by arjybarjy (92 posts) -

I haven't attached that album to excessive partying as the only time I listen to is when I walk to places. But I love listening to things that are unabashedly happy even if the lyrics are saying "you better get ready to die". Listening to I Get Wet is similar to when I heard "Woof Woof" by Dan Deacon.

#45 Posted by Vonocourt (2130 posts) -

Never really got into him, too young for the initial craze and his songs always seemed to "light" for my rock tastes as a started drinking. When I think of party rock, I tend to think of stuff that goes along with be completely wasted rather than being tipsy from a few beers.

#46 Posted by nerdsbeware (223 posts) -

I've seen AWK in concert quite a few times at this point. The best had to be at one of the last Skate & Surf Festival in New Jersey where during his last song, he invited a shit ton of people onto stage, ended up breaking the stage and delaying The Starting Line's set. Met up with him after the show when he was signing stuff, his crew must have told him about 20 times that they had to get going but he would not leave until he finished talking to every kid who was hanging out there. Such a great dude.

#47 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@LikeaSsur:

I had never experienced it before; it was a blast. Not something I'd do every other week, though.

@xaLieNxGrEyx:

Thanks!

@nerdsbeware:

That sounds awesome.