The announcement of new material from PeroxWhy? Gen. The American band consists of wrestler Jeff Hardy and musician Junior Merrill had long promised their fans to work on new music. Again and again dates were postponed, but the community remained relatively tense and relaxed. For several months there has been increased social media activity, Friday evenings finally followed on Twitter discussion rounds, mostly in a small circle with friends and strangely enough few fans. One had expected that Hardy would also let himself be seen and speak up, but no. He had enough to do with his dismissal from WWE, the restart at AEW and most recently inglorious news about drink-driving and a not entirely voluntary break from his new employer. While it became quiet around him, Junior did all the work and got the new baby on his way. Merch in the form of shirts were advertised, there were sound snippets, the release of the cover, of course again from the pen of Hardy, and finally the release. It was something of a surprise – or even a disappointment. Because what the two threw on the download channels was neither the album, which everyone had expected and has now been postponed to an unknown later, nor an EP, but a single, two songs, A-side, B-side, finished. After all, the two have a surprise in their luggage, because the sound has changed.
“Every Other Year” starts with drums, you immediately hear the different style compared to the albums and EPs you have previously played from PeroxWhy? Gen knew. A little faster, more varied, less playful, which is very positive, but also more suitable for the 1990s. Hardy sounds distant, the vocals not quite rounded, he seems very strained. The topic is quite similar. “Every other year I shed my fear, every single day I’m blessed to be here”, these are old slogans that are knocked out in the typical Hardy style and you sometimes ask yourself: Can’t you sing about something else or at least package it a little differently? Does it get boring? Apparently not. The fans are – this is in the nature of most fans – enthusiastic and celebrate the song for the most part. Sure, it catches the ear, the lyrics are simple, you sing along quickly. But it is also clear that one or the other feels picked up and understood, you have to manage that first. In addition, you feel a bit close to the battered Hardy. The song ends abruptly. You don’t really know what to think of it and start with it. With two songs it’s not so easy.
“Atmosphere I Fear” begins with a guitar sound that suggests a good rock number, a fast rhythm that gets a lot out of the singing Hardy. It sounds like it was recorded in the studio at home, which it probably is. A little less autotune than before. The music is a bit reminiscent of the late 1990s, early 2000s, for whatever reason, I immediately think of the then popular teen series Dawson’s Creek and all the movies about teens and young love that were devoured by youth back then. The song would have fit perfectly into the time. In 2022, he is unusual, but pulls along. If you sing along, you quickly get out of breath, because the singing tempo is not without. Hardy sings a little pressed, strained. Nevertheless quite entertaining.
A quick sentence about the artwork. Old elements such as the stylized P and G are retained, but the typical hardyism, the faces, the hard drawn edges are missing. This time it seems to be simply designed on the PC, imitated and yet far over. A temple, a pyramid in front of others, who are pelted with rays of light as if by aliens from space, somewhere a planet. Of course, this brings a bit of a connection to other albums.
PeroxWhy?Gen leaves one a little questioning this time. They reinvent themselves, but with only two songs they do not complete this development and only roughly give a direction. One wonders a bit how much Hardy is still in here and how much is Merrill and above all: When will the promised album be released and why do you push this single onto the market in the first place? It doesn’t seem quite round, even if “Every Other Year” is quite a connection to earlier music. Nevertheless, more is needed. Some things seem rushed, as if you want to keep the fans happy, because just a few have complained too much that nothing new is coming. Do you learn PeroxWhy?Gen with the Omega Sessions, you will be surprised what used to be and may not like it at all. It is moodier, has more chances to be played, is still far away from radio and stages, but slowly moves towards it. You discover the potential that lies in here and are ready to give the group a chance – as long as you don’t have to wait two, three, four years for something new, because then they are forgotten. Something new is needed, preferably an album and within six months – at most.