Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Victorian Whore Dogs - "Afternoonified" (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/04/2016
Label: Hibernacula Records


Victorian Whore Dogs are one of the more underrated and exciting live bands currently slogging away in the UK heavy music scene. They are an absolute delight to behold. Their DIY ethics (this was self produced/recorded and will be self released through their own Hibernacula Records) make other bands seem lazy and clueless by comparison and with songs about masturbation (Murder Boner), VWD deliver crushing grooves and swinging riffs with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks courtesy of front man Danny Page's twisted sense of humour.


“Afternoonified” CD//DD track listing:

1). Mutton Shunter
2). Captain Kirk was my Favourite Stormtrooper
3). I Have Become
4). Murder Boner
5). Barrington Monroe
6). (I Can’t Believe It’s) Nutbutter
7). Agoecia
8). Snatch Files
9).  'Nååñshååg'
10). Southern Fried Homicide
11). Sebastian Tenderhoof

The Review:

'If you can't stand the smell, don't sit by the shitter'. While it may seem like some smirk worthy, nonsensical advice, it's a fitting phrase to describe Victorian Whore Dogs. Where so many bands in the sludge/doom/hardcore/heavy music scene take themselves way too seriously, VWD deliver crushing grooves and swinging riffs with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks courtesy of front man Danny Page's twisted sense of humour.

'Mutton Shunter' kicks things off with it's feedback/drum intro and then dives into post hardcore territory with it's riffing and vocal rhythm. 'Captain Kirk Was My Favourite Storm Trooper' comes in next; the 'if you can't stand the smell...' line the first lyric of the song growled over the angular riffing. Anyone who has seen VWD live will give testament to the maniacal onstage antics of Page, if you have yet to see them, go on to YouTube and search for the following track 'I Have Become Death', the video footage taken from their performance at last year's Bloodstock. The song is a melange of staccato rhythms with a blackened sludge tint, slowing down towards the end to allow you to catch up. 'Murder Boner' is a song about masturbation...Guitarist Adam Crawley wears his Will Haven influences on his sleeve as the rhythm section keep things especially solid.

VWD let you relax and enjoy being swept away with the excellent 'Barrington Monroe', the guitar reflecting an air of melancholy through its melody while the bass travels its own path. The lyrics tell a (not so) fictional tale of the daily grind, the 9-5 slog; the lines "bringing down your self esteem to fit in the organisation" and "you mean nothing to them" really hammering home...then Page screams "but you mean something to me" at the end of the song and I feel the truth in his voice. Here at Sludgelord HQ we aired an exclusive track from this album; this track, the superbly titled '(I can't believe it’s) Nutbutter' a gloriously groovy nonsensical affair which offers as much in the way of head banging riffs as it does gut wrenching humour. '

Agoecia' is next and keeps up the consistency of tremendous riffs and grooves and 'Snatch Files', a song about vaginas obviously, follows adding some excellent gang vocals from both Page and bassist Andy Nutall. 'Nååñshååg' follows by setting up a menacing premise, the vocals are growled in a lower register which really shows off Page's exceptional vocal range. "This song makes no fucking sense" Page screams over the faster section; couldn't agree more mate!  A personal highlight for me is 'Southern Fried Homicide' as the tribal esque drumming of the opening part of the song gives way to a thumping overhand courtesy of the brilliant chorus which features more vocals from Nutall. The humour is rife throughout the song which I can only surmise is about divination through the remains of a KFC family bucket. The 11th and final song on display is the more mellow and sombre 'Sebastian Tenderfoot' it's a fantastic way to close as it demonstrates that the band can do serious if they wanted to. Fortunately, I can't see that happening on a full time basis!

Victorian Whore Dogs are one of the more underrated and exciting live bands currently slogging away in the UK heavy music scene. They are an absolute delight to behold. Their DIY ethics (this was self produced/recorded and will be self released through their own Hibernacula Records) make other bands seem lazy and clueless by comparison. Unfortunately, due to those ethics, the sound suffers a tad. It's no slight on the band and has no bearing on their ability to write tremendous songs but you can't help but feel that with a steady hand behind the desk, this would be very well received. You have to applaud them for the effort and it's guaranteed to put them in good stead for the future. Most definitely a highlight of the year despite this minor flaw, their individuality shines brightest As previously mentioned, if you can't stand the smell...

Afternoonified” is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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