Sometimes, I forget what music is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about fun. It’s supposed to be about making you feel good, about making damn sure that you feel like the king of your very own hill, even if it’s just a hill of beans.
So let’s be clear from the start that my appreciation of I Get Wet isn’t ironic. Submitting it as a classic album review isn’t my way of sticking it to the man, the floppy haired scenesters or the slack-jawed musicophiles, though if it does so, that’ll be a bonus. My appreciation for the white clad madman Andrew WK is based on one solid, unquestionably objective truth: I Get Wet rocks hard, and it rocks fast.
Put yourself in Andrew WK‘s position: you’re a musical genius by all accounts, a virtuoso on piano, and a multi talented instrumentalist who has lent his hand to Current 93 and Boredoms, amongst others. You’re the son of a well-respected lawyer and author of several acclaimed legal textbooks. And when you sit down to write a solo record, you throw that all away and make something bigger, better, harder and more aggro than any of your biography should permit. Big drums and great slabs of dumb, unrefined guitar are the meat and potatoes of this album, finished off with a those roaring vocals and frenetic synth work.
In some ways, it’s no surprise that Andrew’s current gig is as a motivational speaker. That there’s a bludgeoning nature to his ‘message’ should be obvious, hearing what he does to a pair of speakers with ‘She Is Beautiful’. If the title suggests a whimsical love song about sunset beaches and that special girl, you obviously don’t know your WK. Take a love song, cut it into pieces with a meat cleaver and then smear the bloody remnants all over your face, screaming out “SHE. IS. BEAUTIFUL.” at the very top of your voice. This is love, WK style. Direct, to the point and taking no prisoners.
‘Party Hard’ is an opening salvo which doesn’t need much introduction. To call it a shot of adrenalin to the face would be a disservice. It can literally destroy dancefloors, if used correctly. Give me six wiry young men, six bottles of tequila and a PA playing ‘Party Hard’ and stand well back to watch devolution in action. ‘Girls Own Love’ falls somewhere between the swagger of ZZ Top and being better than every power ballad you’ve ever heard. ‘Take It Off’ is the theme tune to a thousand men pumping their fists in a still functioning steelworks, while ‘Party Till You Puke’ forgoes any pretences at musicality and degenerates into a two note juggernaut and a chorus that would never be anything but anthemic. ‘I Get Wet’ is a petulant finger raised to anyone still not dancing, and ‘Don’t Stop Living In The Red’ is a final warning to anyone thinking of defying the one man party manifesto.
So with bloodshot eyes, trembling limbs and a grin that could only be described as ‘shit eating’ smeared all over my face, I’d like to submit I Get Wet as a classic album on the following criterion: it’s really stupendously enjoyable to listen to.