Gergo "Wasted" Single Review - 20th April 2021
Review originally published by Welsh Connections on 20th April 2021.
“Wasted” is a solidly delivered, country rock infused, punk pop serenade by Swansea-based songwriter and producer Gergo. I can’t help but conclude with a mixed and middling opinion though.
Possessing some pop punk charm, “Wasted” kicks off with a promising, grungy chug and some fun radio-speaker production moves. However, despite the capable playing and upbeat tone, it quickly becomes quite familiar sounding. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing influences on-sleeve or just doing the obvious if it works, “Wasted” tends to sound copied rather than inspired – like a Green Day emulation (spliced with maybe Uncle Kracker). At its core, the mix is well-balanced and has a good rock feel but it does have a few distracting qualities: the chorus guitars have big punk rock ambitions but lack definition and possess a harshness that becomes fatiguing on repeat listens, and at times the auto-tuner grabs a little bit too noticeably at the vocals (at least to my ears). While the overall vibe is cool, the track’s sound doesn’t quite pop, like it’s not quite as big and bold as intended.
While this could all be rendered as nitpicking, the cliché-heavy lyrics about heartache drinking don’t redeem things, leaving the track exposed. The centrepiece is a melodically-worn chorus hook about being “wasted” – perhaps intended as fun and light-hearted, while linked to a song-writing challenge for a men’s mental health charity (which is admirable), the song’s upbeat normalisation of alcohol overconsumption feels outdated and contradictory.
It’s frustrating not to be more excited about the track as Gergo clearly has a solid foundation in arrangement, performance and production. Fans of early-2000s pop punk should dig the overall style, however, some careful consideration could gently nudge this sound into more exciting and engaging territory while retaining the vibe – it feels so close.