Brutal Panda Records
29 October 2013
In a digital landscape where every single cut you ever make will end up on the internet, you’ve got to be sure that each time you flick the light off at the recording studio that you’re completely satisfied with what you’ve created. EPs are no longer valid places for musical overflow. B-sides and off-cut compilations can pass muster as one-offs (hopefully Rise Against won’t be quick to repeat this year’s Long Forgotten Songs), but fill your extended play with offal and you’ll immediately shed any credibility you’ve fostered within your fanbase.
There’s not a moment on Clean, the second EP from Atlanta’s Whores, that you feel like the band are biding their time, or wasting yours. Clean, six songs deep, is seismic in its endeavours and delivery. Clean is spawned from the smothering fuzz of noise rock, and yet sounds as much like Hawk Eyes as it does Melvins, choosing to rely on leaps between minimalist settings and huge grooves to provide variation. The bass is a fuzzed-up monstrosity that shudders like all holy hell, making Christian Lembach’s guitar sound positively saccharine by comparison, providing a caustic, shunting backdrop to the sickening squeals of feedback. Yet this isn’t all as protracted as it sounds; the minute and a half long ‘Blue Blood’ is just Whores, contracted and forcibly mangled into a smaller container, still as hammer heavy and full of sloping dread.
Centrepiece ‘Cougars, Not Kittens‘ is an homage to vindictiveness that sees Lembach wailing “I hope this breaks your heart” over a chuntering, grungy guitar, as a repetitive backline endlessly smashes the point home. It’s not grandiose in any sense, but it is vast and unexpectedly catchy in a way that leaves you feeling somewhat sadistic.
Clean is a tighter, but equally ferocious, successor to Ruiner. It extrapolates the misanthropy so prevalent amongst alternative genres into a lumbering and shuddering musical behemoth, but one of a deft and engaging focus.
Sounds Like: Hawk Eyes, Melvins
Standout Tracks: Blue Blood, Last Looks