Since 2008, Chris Wollard has been building a diverse portfolio of solo material. Whether the releases came under his own name, or as Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves, he’s jumped between acoustic folk and no-nonsense rock, while also getting his old band—Hot Water Music—back together. On January 29, No Idea Records will release No Anchor, which sees the band drop all pretense and forge ahead as Ship Thieves. The A.V. Club is premiering “Middle Man” below, No Anchor’s raucous album opener that explains why that name change feels so necessary. Much of the album draws a clear line back to Wollard’s time spent with Hot Water Music, as the album forgoes the country influence he’s dabbled in and goes straight for the gut. ”Middle Man” gives fans of Wollard’s previous acts the rough-hewn pop-punk they’ve come to love, with a Vonnegut-referencing chorus to boot.
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