My first experience with Wonk Unit was from their album put out by Drunken Sailor records called Feel The Wonkness. That one was a compilation of some songs that had been released on other albums originally, but it provided a good starting point for someone not familiar with the band. I had been hearing of Wonk Unit for a while, but it was that album that really made me a fan. I decided then to keep better track of them and buy more of their records.
I did a piss poor job of that task as Mr. Splashy came out last year and I didn't have any idea it was out until I stumbled across it in Red Girlfriend's distro while buying another 7" late last year. So, I missed out on listening to this album last year and didn't include it on my top records list for 2016. If I had my shit together, there is no way Mr. Splashy wouldn't have been ranked quite high. The saving grace is that at least I was able to buy the green vinyl version of the album, which if the internet is to be believed was limited to one hundred copies and is the tour version of the record. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
It's kind of difficult to describe the madness that is Wonk Unit. At their core they're a punk band from the UK, with obvious influence from bands like Snuff and China Drum. However, if you go in expecting Wonk Unit to really sound like either of those bands you're in for a shock. There are also elements of the story telling side of bands like The Weakerthans. Some acoustics here, some string arrangements there and a little comedy throughout. It's the combination of these sounds that gives Wonk Unit a truly unique voice.
Mr. Splashy is a great, diverse album. It grows on you each time you listen to it, revealing new layers of mad genius. Their back catalog is still a little intimidating to dive into, but considering how much I've liked everything I've heard thus far, I think it's time to take the plunge.
Wonk Unit - Mr. Splashy: