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Wasson!? - Hold My Breath (ATD Media Ltd)

1 March 2024

Whilst there is the sort of attitude and energy that you associate with punk, to label “Hold My Breath” merely as such is to do it a disservice. It’s better than that. If anything, it is a reminder that punk, in its earliest form, in the UK at least, was essentially fired-up, fast and furious pop music and pops magic is undoubtedly at work in the heart of the song.

Building up to the anticipated explosive moment via a strummed acoustic guitar intro, it is the piano that comes crashing in rather than the raw-edged guitars that accompany it that raise a smile. A sign that there is something more subtle, supple and sophisticated at work under its rough exterior.

Wasson!? seem to start in a melodic place and add sonic muscle rather than the other way around, and this is evident in the blend of cascading piano salvos and propulsive and purposeful bass lines (which even gets a solo…whatever next?) If the grinding guitars and simple yet brilliantly unfussy beats align with punk’s sonic manifesto, the rest of the song is woven from the sort of musicality that most punks could only dream of sounding like.

It’s clever stuff, the perfect blend of poise and power, musical eloquence and energy, attitude and acumen.

For those mathematically minded readers, here’s a useful equation:

Pop infectiousness + rock energy + punk swagger / wasson!? = greater than the sum of its parts ( x much greater)