|Whores – Gold (SPV Records)|
|Written by Rich Hobson|
|Friday, 06 January 2017 03:00|
For a year so tarnished with losses and atrocities, 2016 was excellent for new music releases. So much so in fact, that even in 2017 we’re still sifting through enormous piles and finding gems aplenty, like a musical gold rush. Speaking of which, ‘Gold’ is the debut record by US noiseniks Whores, a ten-track slice of aural boisterousness that has seen the band vastly labelled as extreme metal, punk and just plain old noise.
And boy oh boy, do I love me some noise. This ain’t no sarcastic-mathematician Cop Shoot Cop type Noise record; Whores come out the gates swinging with ‘Playing Poor’, possessed of a bass tone so sludgy it has been offered casting calls for a remake of ‘Swamp Thing’. From there it’s all filth and fury, rampaging riffs and bitterly snarled vocals evoking thrash metal at its most venomous, punk with no affectation.
Though they might hail from the same waters as fellow swamp-dippers Mastodon, the comparison ends there; Whores are in a whole noise class of their very own. The Big Black/Shellac influences start to rear their head on ‘Baby Teeth’, bubbling up like flotsam from a hateful tar pit, the bones of Noise Punk past. Jerky, Sludgy and ready to break some noses and bloody some knuckles, this is the sound of a band making full use of their sonic arsenal.
Imagine Helmet experiencing road rage, The Melvins caught in an industrial accident, Foo Fighters slashed until bloody. That incongruous aural image is the sound of Whores, a band utterly at home with noise punk’s vitriol but with enough sense to keep a semblance of structure to the formula. It hits hard, it hits rhythmically and when it hits, it makes sure to leave a mark.
Take for instance ‘Mental Illness As Mating Ritual’. A bass heavy, riff loaded howler which wouldn’t be miles outside the repertoire of Fu Manchu, if only they stopped smoking so much green and decided to get mean, this track is pure violence but stays just poppy enough to get an abattoir meat hook stuck right into the brain.
Vocalist Christian Lembarch howls with throat-grating fury across the album, at once channelling Steve Albini and Al Jourgensen, pure blistering rage on each track. Throw in guitars that can switch between at-times spasmodic and jerky to stoner rock groovaliciousness, then punk rock clankiness, as well as a bass whose settings only go from “Satan clawing free of the earth” and “you’ve met with a terrible fate” and artillery fire drumming, and you start to get the bigger picture. Whores are war in a box, neatly packaged and ready to spread the nasty stuff at the slightest provocation.
I couldn’t love it more.
Whores tour Europe with Big Business this Spring. See them in the UK at:
March 31- The Fleece, Bristol
April 1 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
April 2- Star and Garter, Manchester
April 3- Audio, Glasgow
April 4- Mama Roux, Birmingham
April 5- The Underworld, Camden, London