ALBUM REVIEW: Cory Wells – The Way We Are

Release Date: November 15th 2019
Label: Pure Noise Records


Just under two years after putting out his first set of songs, Californian singer/songwriter Cory Wells is now equipped with his debut album, ‘The Way We Are’, a record that’s set to throw him to new heights.

‘Distant’ opens the album on an almost ethereal note, with a pulsing synth that has undertones of a dusty record scratching against the needle, to create an oddly relaxing, yet slightly creepy tone. As Wells‘ voice and guitar gently fade into the picture, we’ve already been taken to another place entirely, and when his voice gets louder and the other instruments appear, you awake in this incredible soundscape.

The album is forced back into reality with ‘Keiko’, which has all the elements of a classic pop-punk hit, but with an acoustic guitar and stripped back drums. ‘Wildfire’ opens with a shattering acoustic guitar, bringing back the pop-punk vibes of the previous track, with an opening line that is relatable to pretty much everyone; “They told me not to trust you / Well, I wish they were wrong and I was such a fool.”

Closing track, ‘Cement’, gives a slight reprise of the ethereal vibe from the start of the album, but only for a few seconds before the acoustic guitar kicks back in. It feels like the perfect note to end the album on. It’s a real lighters-in-the-air moment, and sums up the album perfectly.

Acoustic guitars are not usually considered punk rock, save from the occasional acoustic ballad. What Cory Wells has done is taken his acoustic guitar and treated it like the traditional distorted electric guitar we’re accustomed to hearing, and he’s created something truly unique with ‘The Way We Are’. He’s a star-in-the-making.