Any fan of noise rock will be quick to say that the genre didn’t simply fade into obscurity when the 90s ended and Amphetamine Reptile stopped signing new acts, it has always been there thriving in the dirtiest corners of the extreme music world. Although it may seem like there has been a resurgence of the style and ethos of the genre with the popularity of acts like KEN mode, it may just be that people are finally starting to pay attention again. One newer noise rock outfit that has been garnering a lot of attention and praise is Atlanta’s Whores. With their gritty, abrasive, muscular sound, snarky lyricism and a name not permitted at family dinner tables, this Georgian trio helps prove that the genre never left and is here to stay.
With two critically-heralded EPs under their belt, Ruiner and Clean, a split of The Cure covers with Portland noise makers Rabbits, and a spot on Amphetamine Reptile’s infamous “Dope, Guns ‘N’ Fucking in the Streets” compilation, Whores. have made quite a splash in just a short amount of time. With the release of their long-awaited full-length debut, Gold., the band keep the momentum going.
With 36 minutes at their disposal, Whores. unleash pummeling riffs galore across 10 catchy yet punishing tracks. Groove-heavy, drop-tuned, fuzz-filled guitars collide head-on with distorted, abrasive bass lines as explosive drumming thunders underneath. Vocalist Christian Lembach is at the heart of this murky madness, unleashing throat-searing, vitriolic yells with ease. While some noise rock acts opt for more angularity, Whores. keeps everything more straightforward and bestial. And it works in their favor.
The record kicks off with a barreling bass line on “Playing Poor” that crashes into hammering, piss and vinegar fueled guitars in an explosion of fury and angst. This distorted rock and roll apocalypse bleeds directly into the bashing of “Baby Teeth”. This track bludgeons the listener with lurching sludge riffs that are displaced with bellowing harmonics and walls of piercing feedback, as well as stampedes of grungy groove and scathing lyrical wit. The record starts off strong and doesn’t let up from here.
Shorter tracks found in the middle of Gold., such as “Ghost Trash” and “Charlie Chaplin Routine”, amp up the speed and aggression tenfold. The former of the two conjures unyielding steamrollers of caustic chord progressions, while the latter track revolves around rambunctious, bouncing insanity. The album’s most destructive cut would arguably be “Bloody Like the Day You Were Born”. The track cycles back and forth between dissonant, jagged melodies and hellacious, skull-caving riffs that aim to cause serious pain. The album’s final six-minute dirge, “I Have a Prepared Statement”, is also worth noting for its sludgy sprawl and unquestionably earth-shattering climax.
In the grand scheme of things, however, Gold. doesn’t show the band treading any new ground. It’s all very familiar territory for the band and they play it a bit safe at times, but it is one hell of a beatdown regardless. It is hard to deny that these guys can write a mean, hard-hitting track, let alone 10 of them. They may not reinvent the wheel, but Whores. use the wheel to run listeners over on Gold.
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “Playing Poor” and “Bloody Like the Day You Were Born”
For Fans Of: Unsane, Helmet and Blacklisters