Washer: Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends [Album Review]

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Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends
Exploding In Sound Records [2023]

Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends marks the return of the Brooklyn/Philadelphia-based indie rock duo, Washer. It has been six years since the group’s sophomore record All Aboard was released in 2017, but the extra time has paid off. Originally planning to record in 2020, Mike Quigley (vocals, guitars, bass) and Kieran McShane (drums) took the extra time from shutdown and committed to making this third record even better. In fact, of the 15 songs that make up Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends, only four were from that initial batch. What fans will love to hear though is that the album still features Washer’s punchy and energetic indie rock, with a raw and unpolished sound that captures the band’s live energy.

The album begins with the slow building “King Insignificant ,” setting the thematic tone for the rest of the record with its patience until the last 30 seconds lets loose. The album continues with the infectious and anthemic “The Waning Moon,” showcasing the band’s proven ability to craft memorable hooks and melodies as its lyrics reflect on that sense of powerlessness against the cycle of time. One of the strengths of Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends is Washer’s ability to balance the melodies with gritty and distorted guitars, creating a sound that is both accessible and unembellished. The album also features a range of tempos and moods, from the driving and urgent “Threadbare” to the slow and moody “Answer To Hell.”

Overall, Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends is a fun and vibrant album that showcases Washer’s growth in songwriting skills. The band maintains a natural and unrestrained sound that utilizes more patience and space for song development. Each track has the capability to explode and possesses a tension that keeps you listening to each lyric, riff, and drum fill. This intentional and deliberate focus sets this Washer record apart from their earlier recordings and Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends only becomes more infectious every time you spin it!

“The Waning Moon” / “Not Like You” / “Fail Big”

Pile / Cloud Nothings / Ovlov

All Aboard (2017)

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Thomas Wilde
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