Whatever, Feels Real (Boat Dreams From the Hill)
Ryan Walter Wagner and Chris Van Der Laan perform together in the weed-fixated local rap ensemble Too High Crew, but their work as the Greater Wall represents a very different side of their musical personalities. The six songs that make up their Whatever, Feels Real cassette are injected with pure punk energy.
In this trio, Wagner handles guitar and lead vocals while Van Der Laan mans the bass, and they are backed by prolific local drummer Dustin John Bromley (Keep Tidy, Twin River, Pleasure Cruise). Their material is concise and punchy, with no track clocking in at more than three minutes and each one rife with distorted power chords and hard-charging rhythms.
Wagner isn’t so much a singer as he is a snarler, and his ragged vocal approach is complemented by brashly confrontational lyrics that are replete with curse words. Punning opening track “Incredible Sulk” begins the EP with jagged guitar leads as Wagner sneers, “Fuck you if I’m late.” This is followed by “Our Animals Are Actually Trained to Do That”, which features a catchy refrain of “I couldn’t really give a fuck,” while “Quitters Never Last” finds the frontman admitting, “I’m feeling like shit right now.”
In other words, these songs don’t have much restraint or subtlety, and that’s the Greater Wall’s biggest strength. For fans in search of a succinct blast of snotty punk, Whatever, Feels Real will fit the bill nicely.