Under the Radar's 15th Anniversary: Andrew W.K.'s "I Get Wet" | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Under the Radar’s 15th Anniversary: Andrew W.K.‘s “I Get Wet”

Celebrating Under the Radar's 15th Anniversary and the Best Albums of 2001

Jan 17, 2017 Andrew W.K.
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Under the Radar’s very first print issue came out in December 2001. In honor of our 15th Anniversary some of our writers are reflecting on some of their favorite albums (and movies and TV shows) from 2001.

When Andrew W.K.‘s debut full-length album I Get Wet came out in 2001, it was a rather unlikely candidate for a smash album, albeit one that was only a hit amongst indie-rockers then normally averse to the kind of in-your-face, pedal-to-the-metal, hard rock attack that constitutes every second of this album. A one-time member of Wolf Eyes in his native Michigan, he changed gears from noise-rock once he moved to New York and after recording several EPs and getting a deal with Island, produced this monster slab. Audibly influenced by ‘90s Swedish band Turbonegro and a positive, can-do attitude perhaps gleaned from Bad Brains’ “PMA” (Positive Mental Attitude) exhortations, I Get Wet wastes nary a second getting its point across. The music here is ‘90s/early ‘00s hard arena rock (some would even say late ‘80s “glam metal”) stripped down to its bare essentials, much like the Ramones did with early ‘70s hard rock/proto-punk. W.K.‘s vocals, enunciating perfectly clearly, rise far above the noisy, repetitive, almost robotic music, producing anthems so knowingly dumb that they’re somehow smart. And besides, they’re catchy and almost impossible not to sing along with.

From the opening minute and 30 seconds of “It’s Time to Party,” you know you’re in not for any sort of intellectual exercise, but a hell of a good time. From there, two more songs directly reference “partying” (“Party Hard” and “Party Til You Puke,” respectively) and others have self-explanatory titles like “She is Beautiful” and “I Love NYC” that leave nothing to the imagination. Still, that’s not the point of this. It hits like a brick (similar to the one that was used to get W.K.‘s face all bloodied up on the album cover; apparently, he performs his own stunts) and serves as both a clarion call and to anyone who needs any sort of bolt of inspiration in his or her daily life. Furthermore, it established the career of W.K. not only as a musician, but as a future spoken word artist, reality TV star, and even club owner (and all-around renaissance man of sorts). And along with The Darkness’ similarly great and wink-worthy debut Permission to Land, it made it okay for indie-land to embrace straightforward, anthemic hard rock and constituted a bit of a revival of the genre in the early ‘00s.



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