01. Baby Bird
02. Last Looks
03. I Am Not A Goal Orientated Person
04. Cougars, Not Kittens
05. Blue Blood
06. I Am An Amateur At Everything
[Brutal Panda Records]
Unless you are waiting on a call, a date, or your food, 25 minutes is not a long time. For a band to cram exactly want they want to say into this period requires restraint, punctuality and precision. On Clean, the newest release from Atlanta three piece Whores, every minute is perfectly filled with riffs, feedback and, believe it or not, catchy vocal hooks.
To begin, the production needs to be applauded to the rafters. With the rise of bedroom producers and laptop engineers there has been an all too prominent lack of “rock” albums that hit hard and dirty. Clean, thankfully, breaks this trend. Produced by Ryan Boesch in the bands’ hometown of Atlanta, the album opens with a gargantuan three chord riff that swells like a crusty wave once it kicks in. The overwhelming urge to get up and kick something to pieces takes over thanks to the overdriven bass and vintage guitar tone. The drumbeat that opens ‘Blue Blood’ sounds like it has been recorded directly into your head; hi-hats that pulse and a snare drum that snaps with every downbeat giving the impression that you are standing mere feet away from Travis Owen as he partners the abuse of his drumsticks with the audible battering that his kit receives.
Elsewhere, the vocals on this album are hands down a perfect fit for the balls out, punk approach that Whores exude so profusely; The cracks and breaks in Christian Lembachs voice as organic as the moment they were delivered in the studio. In album closer ‘I Am An Amateur At Everything’ Lembach masters the bridge between singing and shouting perfectly, the listener never knowing when to expect a hail mary scream to bring the next huge chorus in.
In terms of the meat and bones of the album, the six songs that make up Clean rock back and forth between dirge like grooves and bitter choruses that hold your ear and scream passive-aggressively right into it (“I’m going out tonight and I don’t care if you’re coming”, one lyric that every disconcerting punk within wants to scream loudly at THAT one person). The verses of ‘I Am Not A Goal-Orientated Person’ have a Josh Homme-esque swagger where ‘Blue Bloods’ creeps along at a shoegaze tempo but still has an absolutely monolithic feel with buildings come down all around the minute and a half long outro of feedback and doom. Every downpicked riff and huge volume swell has been thought out, jammed and recorded. It would be very surprising to find out that Whores did not record this in a live setting. There are several moments that really feel like you are listening to the band jam out these songs on the other side of your headphones or speakers. They could be playing plugged in straight to your ears and it would not sound as awesome as this.
For a not quite 25 minute run time, Clean is hands down one of the releases of the year for this reviewer. Huge riffs and epic choruses abound, with a snarling attitude and masterful production to boot. It drops October 29th on Brutal Panda Records and it deserves the fullest attention as Whores could very well be the new Georgian sludge favorites of many a ‘head around the world. Check it and enjoy those good, bad vibes.
Whores – Clean gets…