Archive for Whores

Bone and Blood: Idles – Brutalism

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , on March 17, 2018 by Ben

My faith in music is very transient. While there are plenty of euphoric moments, more often than not those quickly fade into memory, leaving my enthusiasm to stutter and calcify. This is followed by a long, slow fall into silent apathy, where I struggle to ignite excitement for anything musical, regardless of genre or age. These are bleak periods, ashen fucking wastes of dry cardboard and inane radio chatter. I stumble through these spells, hoping to find a new sound, something urgent and mentally violent, a blazing neon star that will shatter my pitiful reverie and wake me the fuck up. Several albums have done this for me in the past but few with the same degree of emotion and propulsion as Brutalism.

Image result for brutalism idles

I don’t maintain a social media presence (unless blogging to an audience of ten counts) and as such, tend to be several months behind albums that have already blown up and been devoured by the public hordes. I’m the lazy vulture, waddling over to the carcass after even the maggots have had their fill, slurping up whatever grease and sinew remains. Such is the case for the debut album from Idles, released last March to near universal acclaim that has already got them on a label and a sold-out set of North American shows (The current sold-out Toronto show is at Hard Luck, which makes sense for a band this size. However, the show was originally booked at the Smiling Buddha – a tiny venue that usually hosts locals. Whoever booked it there was either insane or a genius). With no background, no predispositions from the hype-machine in my subconscious, this album came crashing down on me like a tonne of liquid concrete.

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Let’s Wander: Middle Man Demo and FEAR on SNL in ’81

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2018 by Ben

I’ve been moving around and not spending much time at home over the past couple weeks, hence the lack of posting. I’ve been generally treading through re-listens or digging up well-known classics instead of trawling through all that hot new shit Bandcamp has to offer. Even today, I’m not finding much that has got me clawing at the plaster but I’ve got a couple portions to dispense.

Whores are responsible for this discovery, as they posted up “Lets Have a War” by punk legends FEAR. This led to that and several related videos later I ended up on a video of FEAR playing Saturday Night Live on Halloween, 1981. As all this occurred a decade before I was born it was new to me but apparently, John Belushi hisself booked FEAR to come on SNL since they had written a single for his upcoming movie Neighbours that was derided by the movies producers, so booking them on SNL was an attempt to make things right.

Suffice it to say, letting a real life group of rotten hoodlums on national TV backfired as you would expect such an idea to go. Although, kudos to SNL at the time, since they brought in an audience of regular punks to have FEAR play before, almost like they wanted one of those shifty-eyed bastards to fuck the whole thing up. Conspiracy I say! So after barrelling through 3 songs in something like five minutes, some disreputable bastard grabbed a mic and got some profanity on air, knee-jerking the censors into cutting the performance short and shelving the footage for years. Even now, the film that eventually got released is only a truncated version of the full set.

Some 30-odd years later, this serves as a showcase and cultural touchstone of both 80’s hardcore and golden-era, coked to the tits SNL (Cumon’ Donald, at least try to paw at your nose for leftover blow before you introduce the band). In 10-ish years of going to shows I’ve seen some nights that have come close to an 80’s stage brawl but nothing to top one yet.

Rambling inwards, I got a new demo I would like point your attentions towards in yonder streaming widget below.

Recently I’ve been sorting Bandcamp by local new releases (gotta keep that hype close to home) in effort to find a sick new artist that I can then go see for $5 whenever the hell I want. So, Middle Man. Noisy fucking bullshit very much in the vein of my treasured trolls, witchface. A reduction boiled down too far, burning the bottom of the pan with leftover slime from your reptile brain purring in pleasure. Scream more, think later.

And that you cretins, is all.

Trash Pipe: BUMMER – “Freedom Cobra”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , on March 20, 2017 by Ben

BUMMER are nasty 3 piece from Kansas City who I found out about after they signed on to tour with WHORES this spring. They just released a new track, “Freedom Cobra”, following up another track they released in October of last year, “King Shit”.

Both of these are fuckin’ new age rippers with a potent cocktail of sludge, grind, hardcore, punk and knuckle-dragging. The riff on “King Shit” in particular, licks its fingers and jams them deep in your lizard brain, getting that neck loose. It’s abrasive, chest-pounding beer swill that has got me plenty stoked for their trip to Toronto.

Catch their upcoming split with PINKO on April 7th or see them on tour with WHORES in the coming months.

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BUMMER Tour Dates

4/6 Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge *
4/7 Kansas City, MO – Mills Record Company *
4/8 Minneapolis, MN – Hexagon Bar *
4/9 Milwaukee, WI – Quarters *
4/10 Chicago, IL – Burlington *
4/11 Columbia, MO – Cafe Berlin *
4/12 Hot Springs, AR – TBA *
4/13 Denton, TX – Gatsby’s Mansion *
4/14 Austin, TX – Sidewinder *
4/15 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger *
5/12 Atlanta, GA- The Drunken Unicorn ^
5/13 Memphis, TN – Growlers ^
5/14 Louisville, KY – Haymarket ^
5/15 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups ^
5/16 Canton, OH – Buzzbin ^
5/17 Washington DC – DC9 ^
5/18 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie ^
5/19 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus ^
5/21 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk ^
5/22 Montreal, QC – Turbo Haus ^
5/23 Toronto, ON – Coalition ^
5/24 Detroit, MI – Loving Touch ^
5/26 Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club ^
5/28 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room ^
5/29 Denver, CO – Hi Dive ^
5/30 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge ^
6/01 Seattle, WA – The Highline ^
6/02 Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon ^
6/03 Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge ^
6/04 Oakland, CA – Eli’s Mile High Club ^
6/05 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo ^
6/06 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar ^
6/07 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge ^
6/09 Oklahoma City, OK – The Blue Note ^
6/10 Austin, TX – Barracuda ^
6/11 Dallas, TX – Three Links ^

* with P I N K O
^ with Whores. & WRONG


Precious Metals: WHORES – Gold

Posted in Riffs with tags , , on December 4, 2016 by Ben

Whores have been one of my top bands since I discovered “Ruiner” several years ago and their 2013 release, “Clean”, was my album of the year. Since then I’ve been waiting by the mailbox for more pummelling vitriol from this Atlanta-based band.

“Gold” was released in late October of this year and after my first listen, I was left feeling surprised and a little bit miffed. Their sound had changed! My fickle heart was broken, my emotions left pooling on the carpet like fresh vomit from the dog…

But then I got over myself and spun the album twice more.

For me, “Gold”, is a substantial departure from the sound they had perfected in “Clean”. Their previous output always sounded precise and deliberate. It was crushing, yeah, but everything had its place and never felt rushed for time. You were still getting your skull pounded in but with careful consideration to where the hammer was going to fall.

Ripping open this new release, the pace is upped, the consideration gone and your grey matter spewed on the wall with nary a thought to the cleaning crew. It’s a push into faster territories of punk than they had previously occupied and a switch from measured violence to reckless disregard.

Once I had mentally registered this change of pace, “Gold” quickly became a frequently played album in the weeks that followed. It’s a fucking ripper. Deep hooks, faster grooves, filthy pools of distortion and howling grey-haired angst.

I can’t find a Bandcamp stream (Boo!) but you can check out this stream on Noisey along with an excellent interview with the band’s frontman. Also check out the video for “I See You Are Also Wearing a Black T Shirt” below.

“Tiny little man, tiny little town, tiny little footsteps and a hole in the ground.” Deep cuts.

Poltergeists of the riff: Red Fang – “Only Ghosts”

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2016 by Ben

Nothing like a day of blowin’ sideways ice pellets and half-assed snow to make cozying up to the computer a more attractive prospect…

“Only Ghosts” is the fourth studio album from Portland-based riffasauruses, Red Fang. 2011’s “Murder the Mountains” has been one of my favourite albums since its release but I was left feeling lukewarm after “Whales and Leeches”, a feeling that has carried over into their newest 10-track romp.

I don’t know what specifically has put me off but I don’t get the same shivers and jives from most of the tracks. It could be the songwriting, it could be the mix but in all probability its just me. For me, it’s not a strong release, for other people it might be their best release to date. Objective reviews don’t exist.

Don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t finish the album without a couple goody bags to come back to. “Cut it Short” is a great skronky little number and “Not for You” was stuck in my head for a goddamn week. There’s plenty of good moments to be found but never enough that snapped my neck back. It’s an album I’d drink to but not sit in traffic with.

Take a listen at the player down below and see what you think. You can catch them on tour with Torche and Whores from November into December (If you’re a lucky American).

Whores IndieATL Session – “I Am Not A Goal Oriented Person”

Posted in Awesome Things with tags on February 25, 2014 by Ben

Here’s the video from Whores recent IndieATL session where they were filmed performing “I Am Not A Goal Oriented Person” from my 2013 AOTY, “Clean”.

Bonus point for the stick-to-bird-flip at 0:16.

If you haven’t heard “Clean” already, clean the damn wax out of your ears and listen below.

Harden the fuck up: Whores. – Clean

Posted in Riffs with tags on October 31, 2013 by Ben

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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