Produced by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, you should already be excited to hear this new record from Brooklyn punks Worriers. ‘Imaginary Life’ is full of vigour and vitality and as soon as the oh-so-short ‘Jinx’ opens the record, you’ll know this is a band with something to say. Presented in a Moldy Peaches-style anti-folk style, there are plenty of lyrics to peak an interest like: ‘What turns my stomach is the fear of this ever closing’. Quickly following this is the grunge-tinged ‘Plans’, and this is a song that really gives Lauren Denitzio’s voice the chance to shine. Guitars get turned up for the chorus and there’s a defiance in Lauren’s vocal delivery as they sing: ‘I got plans for me’. There’s also a stinging line aimed at the subject of the song: ‘You love me like a sibling that you hate a little bit’.
‘Glutton for Distance’ opens in a huge style with a wall of guitar noise giving it a powerful edge. Fitting somewhere between Ryan Adams and Sleater-Kinney, there’s a positivity flowing throughout the song with the words ‘We’re on the Championship team’ and ‘We’ll make it this far’ giving it an anthemic quality. ‘Parts’ sees the band take on a punkier edge in thrall to Alkaline Trio, and the theme is something that is heartbreakingly familiar – the feelings when you bump into a former close friend or loved one: ‘No amount of time can change how this hangs on to me’. You can hear some genuine Brooklyn attitude on ‘Unwritten’, especially when Lauren asks you to: ‘Put into words what I go through every day’.
As well as modern culture, politics is a running theme throughout the record, especially on ‘Peacetime’; a song that imagines how good it would be to retire at 65 with money in the bank – something Worriers’ generation will never do. Discussing how hopes are futile over some woozy guitar, the band dream of being able to afford a house they would never leave and finish with a vivid statement ringing in your ears: ‘Welcome to laughter in peacetime’. Among Clash-esque guitars, Worriers also create a real punk racket on the timely ‘Yes All Cops’. Covering a huge issue in the States (and beyond) right now, Lauren sings with just the right amount of venom: ‘I just believe what I’ve seen. I’ve learnt not to trust anyone, not least men in blue uniforms’. Following this is ‘They, Them, They’re’, a touching and important observation about gender binary and the way the public uses definitive terms to describe others. ‘There’s no better word than just not saying anything’ is sung with heart over the pacy, frantic instrumentation and the call-and-response vocals leave a deep impression.
‘Advance Notice’ has a tinge of Life Without Buildings and shows how Worriers use their music to convey their attitudes and opinions, especially when Lauren delivers the song’s key message: ‘How you walk through the world is a matter of comfort – a matter of skill’. Dowsed in guitar effects, ‘Chasing’ provides a fitting finale full of passion: ‘Words mean nothing. I wanna see the follow-through’.
On this last song, Lauren sings: ‘Let me speak my mind’. And we won’t be stopping them– we’d love to hear more and more from Worriers.
‘Imaginary Life’ is available from Don Giovanni Records.