Top Sounds - W

WARHEAD - This World Of Confusion {La Vida Es Un Mus/ Feral Ward} This Japanese band may be named after a UK SUBS song, but that’s as far as the comparisons with Charlie Harper’s crew go. This 7" contains two tracks of fuzzed, guttural and screamed HC bringing to mind equal parts DISORDER, early EXTREME NOISE TERROR and, kinda obviously, GAUZE. It’s an absolutely filthy, feedback and distortion drenched sound with vocals barked out with maximum bile. Both tracks hit the two minute(ish) mark but the lead track takes the honours over ‘Acceleration’. I’ve read this is the first new recordings from the band in seven years. Among the band’s members is Jacky from FRAMTID on guitar, although this features more of a chaos factor than the corrosive D-Beat crust of FRAMTID. Nice fold-out sleeve complete with lyrics and pics. Certainly not something for your average GREEN DAY stadium ‘Punk’! (10.03.12)

WASTED LIFE - It Means Nuthin When You’re Dead {STP} I think this is the debut album from this grizzled five-piece outta the UK. Looking at the cover, I imagined a full-on AGNOSTIC FRONT-style HC growl attack. Instead, I got a blast of gnarled mid-paced UK Punk that took influence from the likes of GBH and BROKEN BONES. It’s well executed gear too with the band being solid, proficient and hefty in all the right places. What let it down was the rather one-dimensional growl of the vocals that just got barked out without much variance or identity. It’s a shame too, as the lyrics are good and tracks like ‘Everything For You’ and the NEW BOMB TURKSish Garage Punk blitz of ‘Bad Habits’ would benefit greatly from a more sneering, dynamic vocal as is heard on ‘Four Years Flat’. Solid stuff but a more sneering and less growling would be welcome. (26.04.12)

WAVES OF FURY - Thirst {Alive Naturalsound} What a fucking oddity - the only UK act to be released on Black Keys’ record label, this Brit Pop (??) 5-piece just seem directionless. Reviews reference STRUMMER??? Fuck off... What an insult! There is a lot going on here, from sub-STOOGES guitar abuse, Supergrass pop sensibilities, a really good brass/horn section, something kinda jazzy, a VELVET UNDERGROUND sparseness, a faux sazzyness that had me thinking Verve and, over it all, a terrible, effected and pretentious vocal that’s just plain weak - like Stone Roses on downers if you must. I’m guessing Indie flop heads will think this as dangerous after some positive review in the NME or something. In reality, while there are tunes buried beneath the vocalist’s ego (check ‘Businessman’s Guide To Witchcraft’ for the tunes), it all sounds stunningly contrived in its attempt to be different. Different? As much as U-fucking-2. (11.02.13)

WESTERN ADDICTION - Pines {Fat Wreck} First release since the band’s ‘Cognicide’ album back in 2005 and also the first since former bassist/vocalist Chicken left the ranks. You get three tracks on a neat 7" all of which feature a more sneering Garage Rock ‘n’ Roll approach than the album. Highlight has to be ‘My Opinion Is, I Hate It’ that’s got a few changes in mood and a magnificently bellowed vocal. Of the other tracks, ‘God Says No’ is a flat-out riff-laden rager while lead track ‘Black Salt’ flies past in a couple of minutes sounding like the perfect fusion between PAINT IT BLACK intensity and REATARDS or NEW BOMB TURKS garage core. Includes a lyric insert too. Good stuff from a band that kinda stands out on its own a bit amidst the Fat Pack - I can’t recall another band on the label that sounds quite as convincing that also does this sneering Garage Punk and played with a HC edge. Recommended. (22.08.14)

WIFE BEATERS, THE - The Beat Goes On {DIY} Ouch... I can hear the PC Punk crowd decrying this lot already - especially in light of songs called ‘Scumbag Blues’, ‘Sleazy Places’ and ‘Strip Tease’! Have to say though, that band name does make me wince!! I was expecting full on GG ALLIN scumbag, offend-everyone destruction here but in fact it’s more a case of ‘Road To Ruin’ era RAMONES mixed with a hint of SUPERSUCKERS and a distinct EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS/ UK SUBS brawl. In places, it even approaches jangle-guitar Power Pop as ‘Give Us A Try’ and ‘Time Won’t Wait’ show. Apparently this is the band’s third album and they’re the toughest gang in Burgerville. Fun stuff that shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that ain’t gonna change anyone’s world. Spread over 17 tracks, it lacks the necessary depth to really hold the attention but those Power Pop numbers somehow really work amidst the bubblegum garage Punk. (17.03.14)

WILD, THE - A Collection {Asian Man} I’m not too sure who decreed the likes of Bruce Springsteen’s folk-rock melodrama to be an influence on anything within the Punk Rock world, but it kinda opened the door for shite like Gaslight Anthem, but also THE WILD. I can relate to the DIY values of this band, and I do actually like their music - a great deal in fact - but Punk Rock? C’mon - this is more 10,000 MANIACS than THE AVENGERS; more MUMFORD AND SONS than CONFLICT; more BOB DYLAN than STEVE IGNORANT. The band is a 5-piece outta Atlanta, GA and share that infectious, ragged dual female/male vocal employed by the likes of MEASURE (SA) and RVIVR but channel it through wonderfully sedate folk-tinged rock that GREEN ON RED made their own. I like this greatly, be it the acoustic rap of ‘Set Ourselves Free’, the DYLAN-esque greatness of ‘We Will Drive These Warlords Out’ or the RVIVR vibe of ‘Street Names’. But Punk Rock? Ethically maybe; musically?? Only in the most liberal of terms. (23.01.12)

WONK UNIT - Nervous Racehorse {TNS} First off, the cover of this album is appalling. Secondly, the music on this album is superb! I don’t think I’ll hear such an eclectic record all year and I am positive if I do, it won’t magically gel together as well as this. This is the band’s fourth album by all accounts and I constantly heard echoes of THE ‘TONE’s greatness if mixed with a bit of CONSUMED and SNUFF. Highlights are many - be it ‘Lewisham’ that emphasises THE ‘TONE vibe better than anything, the ska-esque vibe of ‘There’s Me’, the early WIRE/ BUZZCOCKS groove and monotone vocal delivery of ‘Kings Road Sporting Heroes’, ‘The Blonde’ which is seemingly propelled by the best riff MINISTRY never wrote while ‘Heroin’ leaps from a repetitive riff monster, to acoustic folk song, to Pop-Punk gem in the matter of two minutes and then does it all again! A very original band but one where the sum of all its parts really works well. Great vocalist (who used to be in the FLYING MEDALLIONS) also - poetic yet cheeky. An album (15 tracks) that has been confusing and warping the House of Scanner beyond comprehension of late - and it gets better with each listen. (21.08.14)

WORLD/ INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY, THE - This Packed Funeral {Alternative Tentacles} OK - time to ‘fess up: I’d never heard WIFS before. What a mistake!! This is the band’s sixth album but first for AT and is probably in the top three albums of 2014. The band fuses Punk, Swing, Jazz and some kinda gypsy/world music and convince way more than the likes of GOGOL BORDELLO could ever aspire to. The band is a collective of up to 40 musicians and include a diverse range of instruments in their barrage. Soundwise, it’s feasible to suggest this is where JOE STRUMMER could’ve taken THE MESCALEROS if fused with a bit of CHUMBAWAMBA. Among the album’s many highlights is ‘Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Running Out Of Lipstick’ which, continuing the Strummer link, has the same spirit is a ‘London Calling’ song. Other highlights include the drama of opener ‘Dolce Far Niente’ that’s all violins and Eastern Euro vibes before a guitar cuts in creating a danceable and blistering track of Punk Rock invention while ‘The Faster You Go The Better You Think’ retains Punk’s fire but takes it somewhere new, somewhere that another tired X’d up BOLD-wannabe or cliche ridden RANCID-copyist can’t even envisage. A wonderful, inspiring, uplifting and original album that has never been far from the House Of Scanner stereo since it arrived. Scrub top three of 2014, most likely album of the year. (31.12.14)

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