Wednesday, 5 April 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: War Brides - "Regrets" & their Top 5 hardcore records of all time

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/04/2017
Label: Triple Eye Industries

Chicago bruisers War Brides raid the vaults of the noise rock greats to create a compellingly ugly debut LP in the shape of “Regrets”. It is a quick and dirty shot of addictive mayhem, channelling the nastiness of its influences to fine effect and offers hints of evolution into a stranger beast over the course of future releases.

“Regrets” DD//LP track listing:

1). Clean
2). Day Drinking
3). Designer Life
4). Halitosis
5). Ode to an old man
6). Cubano
7). Human Cow
8). Thyme
9). Marrow

The Review:

Chicago bruisers War Brides raid the vaults of the noise rock greats to create a compellingly ugly debut LP in the shape of “Regrets”.

Clean” opens proceedings in urgent fashion, ripping straight into restless wiry guitar, filthy bass and threatening, slurred vocals. The band take the sleazy rumble of the Jesus Lizard and beef it up with a complexity and heaviness reminiscent of Harkonen. “Designer Life” throws in some more straightforward, dumb riffage that recalls the queasy attack of Pissed Jeans. The centrepiece of the album is “Cubano” a lurching 6 minute dirge based on a minimal groove that erupts into a punishing climax.

War Brides delivery is a good balance between hard, tight playing with a messy, shambolic edge that adds a sense of immediacy. They demonstrate a little more restraint on the musical front on “Ode To An Old Man” but the lyrics maintain an impressive level of bile, with the sign off “You’re a piece of shit, someone’s bound to murder you” leaving an indelible impression on the listener.  Parting shot “Marrow” sees the band take a slight left turn. The guitar parts are more spidery and border on the mathematical mania of Botch and the addition of backing vocals add a weird eerie feel to the track.

Regrets” is a quick and dirty shot of addictive mayhem from War Brides. It channels the nastiness of its influences to fine effect and offers hints of evolution into a stranger beast over the course of future releases.   

“Regrets” is available here

In addition to the review, we have a double helping of Bride love, as we welcome War Brides to take us through their top 5 hardcore records.  So prepare to worship at the altar of volume, as we take our weekly trip into the extreme and turn the volume all the way up to 11.  Why do we go to 11,  because “It’s one louder, isn’t it?”

Deadguy – “Fixation on a Coworker” (1995) chosen by Justin

I bought this album randomly at Crow’s Nest record store in Joliet when I was 14 years old.  I had no idea who Deadguy was or what they sounded like but something compelled me to buy “Fixation On a Coworker” When I got home and put it on I couldn’t handle it.  I never heard something so aggressive and earnestly angry in my life and, at the time, it made me so uncomfortable that I shelved it for several years.  It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties, working as an office clerk at an insurance agency, that I finally “got” this album.  The irony was I was working the typical nine-to-five that Tim Singer irreverently remonstrates and detests on songs like “Pins and Needles”.  To this very day, “Fixation On a Coworker holds” up in every facet possible. It transcends the myriad hardcore sub-genres that Deadguy helped inspire and will always be a “desert island” record for me. 

These Arms Are Snakes – “Tail Swallower and Dove” (2008) chosen by Ritchie

Seattle based bands are commonly found on our list of influences and TAAS is near the top of that list for me. “Tail Swallower and Dove” shows that the band is much more than Brian Cook’s bass or Steve Snere’s vocals, it is a beautiful melange, an ideal cohesiveness where each member adds equally to the musical intensity without overshadowing the rest of the band.  At points I find myself focused on the drums and Chris Common’s syncopated verses and bombastic choruses, but when I step back I realize that the sum is much larger than the parts. While each member is a great musician in his own right, there isn’t a single member that stands out as the focal point; not even Snere who always seems possessed while on stage. A great song allows each member’s talents to be showcased but more for their ability to play as a collective than as a solo performer. A band should be more than individuals that can play a song, they should feed off each other until the music becomes something beyond measure.

Daughters – “Daughters” (2010) chosen by Tristan

2010s self-titled “Daughters” is nothing short of perfection. The lads from Providence carved out a sound that is distinctly their own. The opening floor tom hits that lead into the hammer-ons and tremolo guitars in “The Hit” are badass.  And if you can find me a better song from start to finish than “The Unattractive”, “Portable Head”, I’ll cut you into my will. The transition that occurs around 2:17, marked by what sounds like keys with an organ effect, followed shortly thereafter by the vocal line “I want to cast off the wings of desire. I want be buried in a field of fire. I want to stand up and be twenty feet tall. I want to reach out and feel nothing at all” with the last line repeated over and over again. That line coupled with Alexis’ distinct eerie delivery and the intermingled gang vocal “whoa, yeah” does it for me every time. Fucking amazing. If you don’t know of this band or own this album, right that ship as soon as humanly possible.

Retox – “Beneath California (2015) chosen by Grant

I’m a Justin Pearson superfan. I’ve been really into most of his other projects, but the “Beneath California record stands out as Retox’s best. The record is the perfect blend of hardcore, noise and surf with 12 songs clocking in around 23 minutes, never allowing for anything to become stale. 

The standout track is “Let’s Not Keep in Touch”, the longest track on the record at 3:14. The drums, bass and raspy vocals drive the beat into your skull while the guitar squeals above it to create the most amazing tension. That tension proceeds to lock in tighter when the guitar joins the syncopated hard-hitting beat and then releases when breaking into one of their signature surf rock riffs. It’s that kind of furious emotion that I latch onto.

Botch – “We are the Romans” (2000) chosen by Grant

I’m doing two bands for the list, but truth is, Botch is one of the bands we all completely agree on. The obvious choice for their Botch’s best album would be “We are the Romans”. Brutal and mathematical most of the time, and when a song goes full caveman, it goes 110% into a huge hook. Every bit intense and gripping. 

The last song I saw them perform was “Transitions from Persona to Object On “(what turned out to be) their final tour alongside Murder City Devils. “Transitions…” is pretty close to a perfect song. Riffs slowly mutate into the next riff, yet the song only feels to me like there’s 2 real riffs — absolute economical song writing, and it mostly revolves around the riff you hear from the beginning.