Top Sounds - W

WARP LINES - Human Fresh {Dirt Cult} PODCAST PLAYED Debut release from a new band outta Ottawa, Ontario and one that features members of the likes of STEVE ADAMYK BAND, THE YIPS and MILLION DOLLAR MARXISTS among others. You get 12 tracks that, from the opener ‘New Year’, come on something like SPECTRES meets WIPERS with the occasional twist of slightly manic time changes and the odd blip of TOYS THAT KILL (see ‘Nothing Is Working Out’). Plenty of highlights, be it the pumping, bass-driven ‘Sleeping’, the Dischordian vibe of both ‘Measured’ and ‘Stay’ that had me thinking in parts of BLUE TIP, the riff heavy title track, and ‘Hell Is Great’ that sees splintered guitars, a hypnotic bass line, what sounds like a xylophone melody and shards of noise to take what could be the album’s highlight. There’s a lot to like here; took a couple of plays to really sink in, but when it does, it makes for an invigorating and thrilling rollercoaster ride on the slightly darker sounding side of melodic Punk. Recommended! (17.05.20)
WEIRD NUMBERS - Minotaur Dreams {Dirt Cult} Fantastic five track EP from this new band outta both Seattle and Los Angeles that feature members of MANIAC, THE GIRLS and CUTE LEPERS among others. Think BUZZCOCKS, RED DONS,  and the New Wave moves of THE VAPOURS and you’re close.  The vocals are particularly notable being heavily delayed/ reverbed and frequently coming off like old golden tonsils himself, GRANT HART (check ‘Obsolete Man’). Lead track is a fairly restrained track with a chorus that sticks in the head and closer ‘Uzis And Bikinis’ evoked a bit of JOY DIVISION/ SPECTRES with the sparse guitar lines while ‘Switching The Code’ could be the standout track with its pulsating beat, minimalist chorus and some synthesised sounds going on bringing to mind MIND SPIDERS. Very clever stuff that’s both uplifting but downbeat at the same time; it’ll be interesting to see where the band go in following this. (15.12.19)

WE RIDE - Empowering Life {Victory} Kicking off with a chugging, down-tuned guitar, I expected another dose of dire Victory Metal but this was kinda pleasantly surprising. Still a bit too TERROR/ BANE Metalised Hardcore for me to really know what’s going on here, but the female vocals of Mimi certainly impressed more than some overly-tattooed, skinhead growling like gorilla with its balls on fire. Some pretty spot on riffing too, check ‘What You Are’ as the disc highlight that also has some really effective gang backing vocals and a guest vocal appearance from JJ Peters of DEEZ NUTS. There’s some brutal depth-charge bass booms on here too that can vibrate a house!! The band’s outta Spain and this is the 5-piece’s debut album. There’s enough originality here to suggest they could be something special in their field; personally I’d like to hear a bit more free-flowing Hardcore and less of the metalised guitar chugging. (17.05.18)

WET SPECIMENS - Haunted Flesh {Brain Slash} Fucking hell, this is some dark, gnarly Hardcore outta New York state. Song titles like ‘In Secretion Room’, ‘They’re All Dead’ and ‘Haunted Flesh’ should tell you this ain’t no nursery rhyme shite. You get five tracks on 7” of vinyl that fuse CULT VALUES, DAS OATH and TORSO with the sound of some of Sorry State Records nastiest, most in-yr-face bands. All the tracks bleed into the next, and thankfully an enclosed lyric sheet keeps you on track. Vocals are reverb-drenched but legible, music rages but has a distinct darkness about it and production is lo-fi, grizzled, defiant and perfect for this kinda ear acid. Best track is closer ‘Tongue And Teeth’ that has an atmospheric opening before dropping into the depths of oblivion. Experimental Hardcore that’s actually really convincing - in a nasty kinda way!  Nice packaging too! (22.01.20)
WILD ANIMALS - The Hoax {B-Core} PODCAST PLAYED First time I’ve come across this trio outta Madrid, Spain but from the joyous opener, ‘Lost In Translation’, it’s clear there’s a TEENAGE FANCLUB vibe going on - that’s to say big on melody, big on guitars and big on song arrangements. The guitars are a bit denser than the FANNIES, bringing in NIRVANA and SUGAR tones in places, but the harmonies are always strong, especially on ‘Interrupted Girl’ that sees Paula take over lead vocals for a track about the normalisation of sexual freedoms. Other highlights among the ten tunes include the surging ‘Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead’ that features a TELEVISION-esque guitar passage and ‘Pocketful Of Fears’ that could be the album’s best bringing in an acoustic guitar and the male/female vocal harmonies matching RVIVR. A surprisingly accessible album (the band’s second apparently), but without being exactly commercial. Quite a different sound for B-Core I think, but one that is enjoyable and highly playable from start to finish. (28.11.18)

WRATHS - My Home {Bird Attack} PODCAST PLAYED From within 30 seconds of the opening title track, it’s clear this new band features members of PENNYWISE as the similarity is more than noticeable, if mashed up with a bit of ADOLESCENTS, CJ RAMONE (check ‘Trusted You’) and IGNITE. Highlight would be ‘The Beat Goes On’ that opens with a bass destructive enough to be employed by the Orange Man should he decide to go to war with North Korea, which mutates into a guitar riff that flies in all directions and a soaring Jack Grisham-esque vocal. Total banger!! Closer ‘This Is My Farewell’ slows the pace a tad but retains the volatility of sound that the previous three tracks have. This probably gets my vote over PENNYWISE in fact; there's more going on and it’s a bit more... Sneering! Roll on a long player! (21.01.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including: