ALBUM PREVIEW: Andrew W.K. – Close Calls With Brick Walls

I admit, I wasn’t too fond of Andrew W.K. when I first heard him a few years ago. I found ‘Party Hard’ to be a cool single, but I couldn’t enjoy the album as much as I did that song. The song really set the tone for his style — fun and aggressively charged “party music” that utilize a combination of power chords, occasional solos (on a variety of instruments), and rapid keys. Those who considered him to be some joke may change their minds a bit after hearing his new album, Close Calls With Brick Walls, which will only be released in Japan, though I’m sure Western fans can get their hands on it if they really want to. Amazon is selling it for $37, but I’m sure Andrew W.K. fans will spare a night of partying to import the album. It’s probably worth it too, as this is the first album from him I am enjoying quite a bit. I just find it to be more diverse, while maintaining the catchiness that made him so popular in 2001 with Get Wet.

‘Not Going To Bed’ really reminds me of ‘Party Hard’, and it should do rather well (in Japan, at least) in terms of popularity. It is non-stop action just under three minutes with pointless lyrics inside a pointlessly fun song, with a few guitar and keyboard solos popping up along the way. ‘Slam John Against A Brick Wall’ is really fun though, if you just hang in there for a bit. Exactly one minute in, a very nice combination of brass and electric guitar is used, before the title is repeated over and over again in his anything but sober attitude. He actually wrote the lyrics when he was a preteen, as a taunt to his “semi-retarded” bus driver. The music is obviously recent though, as it is what makes the song enjoyable. ‘Pushing Drugs’ has plenty of those fun Andrew W.K. lyrical phrases such as, “Another hot shot in your mouth, and then you take your money way down south”. Good enough, and Andrew W.K. may be one of the only artists that brainless fratboys and depressed hipsters can agree upon, if they ever feel the need to wear football jackets and date blonde cheerleaders.


Andrew W.K. – Not Going To Bed



Andrew W.K. – Slam John Against A Brick Wall



Andrew W.K. – Pushing Drugs



Official Web Site


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


  1. The album is unfucking believable. I hear people keep trying to compare it to something, but it doesn’t sound like anything.

    This album, to me, makes it clear once and for all the despite people’s need to try and catagorize him, Andrew WK makes a music all his own.

  2. i don’t know about “stupid” lyrics. . .if you listen hard enough you will realize everything is there for a reason, and you feel like an idiot for underrating this man.

  3. Personally, I don’t like Slam John or Pushing Drugs too much at all. There are certain artists that I go to for variety. Andrew W.K. isn’t one of them. I love his first two records, and I really like the other tracks I’ve heard from this record, the more typical AWK songs (You Will Remember Tonight, the Moving Room and Not Going to Bed). Can you tell me what style of music makes up the majority of this record?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.