With layers of opposing vocals and sharp, discordant rhythms, Portland trio Mr. Wrong make palpable the confusing frenzy characterizing our entry into 2020 on their new LP, Create a Place. Each song, though spare and minimally produced, bursts with hyperactivity—but it’s a purposeful madness, a controlled chaos. In fact, Mr. Wrong is tighter than ever; the trio has taken a sonic turn, staying true to their raw, proto-punk roots while incorporating the angularity of post-punk.
Politics are certainly on Mr. Wrong’s minds; throughout Create a Place, they rage against our political leaders and the incessantly exploitative nature of news and invasive technologies. “With your landslides and your borders and your new world order/ All the violent voyeurs, will take us all down,” the band sings on opener “Nuclear Generation.” (The three share vocal duties.) Meanwhile, on the dancey “Holding for Healthcare,” the band deftly illustrates the frustrations of our inadequate healthcare system. Song structures, dueling vocals, and straightforward lyrics bring to mind early ‘90s bands like Excuse 17. The fat, fuzzy bass lines, which dominate several songs, give the tracks the teeth they need.
Mr. Wrong may be disgusted by our ever-growing societal ills, but they think continuing to create and share art is crucial for maintaining hope. As they say over email, “We want to remind each other that community is what helps us survive.”