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Review: Wringer, 'Bullfighter'

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Wringer
Bullfighter
Death to False Hope Records

If you're a fan of high energy, catchy punk that blends fundamental elements of the genre, this debut full-length from Bloomington's Wringer was made for you to sing along with loudly as you make your way from point A to point B. The trio of Anthony Elliott, on guitar and vocals, Jared Wilson, on bass and vocals, and drummer Jake Swiss have spent their two-year career as a band writing this record.

"When we were writing the record, we realized that there were a few recurrent themes. One of them is truth, sincerity, standing up to bullshit," Elliott says of the album's focus, which informs the title, Bullfighter.

Seriously, this is liberating, reinvigorating music. This record has forced me to retry a few things that I'd forgotten about, like skateboarding and feeling feelings. The opening track "¬°Encierro!" closes with an outpour of the honesty that flows throughout the album, chanting, "We won't buy it."

Other standout tracks from Bullfighter include "Never, Again," a righteously defiant stance against repeating the mistakes of a failed relationship, "15 Minutes in Denton," a short and sweet ode to enjoying the happiness in the moment, ending with the chorus, "I'd trade it all for a night like this." But perhaps the best example of the band's heartfelt feelings about standing up for the truth can be found in the album's closing song, titled "Eazy-E Had Nights Like This," at the conclusion of which Elliott belts, "We never stood a chance, if we don't take a stand."

Wringer will join a few other Hoosier bands in Gainesville, Florida, at the end of this month to play the twelfth year of Fest, a multiple day punk music festival that takes over the entire town. Also performing at Fest is Elliott's other project Who Needs You and fellow Bloomington-ites High Dive.

"It's [Wringer's] first show in Florida ever. That makes 38 states," Elliott says. "Also, the venue we're playing at is right next to this dope little Cuban cafe so we're gonna be getting our coffee-and-pressed-sandwich on. So yeah: sandwiches, Dillinger Four, friends. In that order."

Bullfighter is being released on CD by Waterslide Records in Japan. While Elliott says that the band will have Japanese import versions of the CD soon, there are plans to release the record on vinyl early next year through Smellhound Records. Until then, you can stream or purchase Bullfighter digitally for free by visiting the band's bandcamp page.

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