Harden the fuck up: Whores. – Clean

October 29th was a big day for album releases, with a bunch of big name bands dropping some highly anticipated albums. All of these were solid releases from solid bands, good albums to be sure but nothing exceptionally jaw-breaking. Well, except for Whores that is.

“Clean” is the (at least for me) much anticipated follow up to 2011’s “Ruiner”. The latter album had snapped me to attention with a combination of heavy distortion and some honest to god punk rock spit and venom delivery. They were pissed and more importantly, they sounded fucking pissed. The songs had a anthemic vibe, encouraging a raised fist and some dented drywall.

“Clean” is everything its ancestor was and then some. Take note folks, you’re not just supposed to follow up your debut, you’re supposed to blow that damn thing out of the water, a feat Whores have pulled of more than capably. Louder and nastier, it’s six tracks kicking you straight in the back of the neck until you accept the fact you are a shitty person or your neck snaps, whatever comes first.

Everything is better, the riffs, the songwriting, the production, especially the production. This album sounds good, like really fucking good, like rattling your windows all day good. Heavy, thick and crystal fucking clear, the next best thing would be cramming your head inside the amp cabinet until something ruptures. Everything from the guitar tone to the snare snap sounds perfectly in place.

“Cougars, Not Kittens” and “Blue Bloods” are the longest and shortest tracks respectively and are easily my favorites of the bunch. The former staggers along at a molasses half-pace, bracing itself with a fucking killer riff and just plain heavy chorus preceded by a quiet background hollar. The latter is an odd little ditty, all high-pitched leads behind a quick stepping vocal line.

Heavy, infectious, insanely well written and equally performed, “Clean” stands head and shoulders above the hordes of the try-hards that populate this little corner of heavy music. Whores are one of the few current bands that not only deliver the bone rattling grooves but are also uncompromising in their vision and ethics. Punk might be dead to the world, but it still lives on in the hearts of three guys from Atlanta.

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