From its roiling first chords, Wild’s End, the debut full-length from Chicago, IL transplants Typesetter, exhibits a certain turmoil—a hopeless cynicism that manifests as much in their hollered lyrics as in the album’s teeming feedback. The sentiment might be most explicit in “Obvious Imperfections,” the opening track on which guitars snarl and nip at drums that careen, baring teeth, into the tussle. “The worst fucking time of year,” guitarists and singers Marc Bannes and Kyle McDonald roar together during a turbulent chorus, “When everything is covered in dirty snow and jaded reasons for living / I think that you’re only in love because you’re cold / Can’t you understand that I just want to be alone?”
This, of course, is by design, says Bannes, who considers Wild’s End the band’s attempt to reconcile struggle. “That’s been a theme in every Typesetter song,” he explains, “so I think the songs can come off as kind of cynical, throwing your hands in the air like, ‘Well, shit. This is life, isn’t it? Here we are.’” It’s in their lyrics, sure, but also in the vocals on “Lapsed Asshole,” which rise together in harmony before falling into a simmering sea murky chords stirred by Bannes and McDonald. It’s in the disembodied guitars at the beginning of “Nietzsche in Florida” that mutate into noisy poltergeists during its final chorus. It’s in Alex Palermo’s grimy bass, which lurks in the background on “Settling,” and in Stephen Waller’s drums that throb like a headache at the beginning of “Sunday Best.”
Little more than a casual listen to Typesetter reveals there’s more to their music than mere pessimism. “There’s a hopelessness,” Bannes admits, “When it’s freezing cold outside in Chicago and you feel miserable, it’s like, this is what we have to deal with, but we’re kind of all in this together.” It’s a Midwestern mindset, maybe, but also one of punk-rock’s most prominent doctrines, and one that resonates loudest on Wild’s End’s title track. “The lyric is, ‘I guess I’ll sleep at Wild’s End,’” Bannes says, which he describes as the point at where not only there’s no shit left to hit the fan, but also where there’s no more work left to do. “I guess that’s our way of saying I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” he laughs.
Because, for Typesetter, this isn’t simply negativism for complaining’s sake. It about catharsis and camaraderie, about untying the knots in one’s shoelaces so that they can be tied tighter— and so that the journey might be easier. If Wild’s End is an album about struggle, then it is not only about the strength one acquires through perseverance, but the means by which the band persevered.
Alex Palermo – Bass
Kyle McDonald – Guitar
Marc Bannes – Guitar
Stephen Waller – Drums