Review: Whores – Ruiner
Atlanta stoner metal trio Whores has a name that is sure to offend some–but those who are left will take their post-hardcore noise-rock right in step. Brutal two-step, to be exact. I was hesitant at first, knowing this was a new project from Jake Shultz of Norma Jean, not having been the most fanatic fan of his old band, but I’m glad I suspended judgement long enough to hit play.
The first discordant, metallic hit of “Daddy’s Money” was enough to make me Whores’ newest and biggest fan. On this, their debut EP, the trio culls inspiration from bands like The Jesus Lizard, Jawbox and Harvey Milk, churning out deafening riffs and howling screams that can satisfy the heaviest bong-ripping metalhead and scare off those hippie friends who keep trying to get you to put on Blues for Allah.
Ruiner is a great sign of things to come for Whores. It’s only five songs in length, but each, in its own way, seems to represent what the band is best at doing. There is the Pissed Jeans vibe of “Daddy’s Money” to kick the record off, butted immediately up against what sounds like a lost Silverchair track with “Fake Life,” a charging post-grunge rocker that touches on what I suppose could be hilariously considered Whores’ “softer” side.
But to continually compare the band to others that came before them is to do them a great disservice. They’re not just the sum of their parts–that’s why I’m so careful to use “vibe” and “influence” in my descriptions. Whores is a band of their own, and when you hear the Albini-esque guitar line sear out through the intro to “Shower Time”, it is plain to see that it is a nod, not a cop. This debut is something singularly great, something that deserves its place alongside the bands that inspire it, not below them.
What perhaps excites me the most is just how fully-realized this first EP is. Obviously the band has done its rounds, and even this Stressed Sumo release is a second issuing of the record which originally came out on Brutal Panda last year, but this doesn’t sound like a debut in the slightest. There just aren’t any kinks on the entire disc. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. From vocalist Christian Lembach’s anguished howls to Travis Owen’s positively monolithic drumming to Shultz’s thunderous fuzz-blasted bass lines, Ruiner walks where nightmares are made. No, it doesn’t walk: it stomps on skulls. It’s full of enough vitriol to get an angsty teen to headbang himself into whiplash, but it’s also so tight, so focused, that you’d guess these guys had been at it for decades. And if we’re lucky, we’ll have that to look forward to.
This entry was posted on April 1, 2012 by Jeremy Zerbe. It was filed under Album Reviews, New Release and was tagged with atlanta, hardcore, noise rock, Norma Jean, Ruiner, stoner metal, Stoner Rock, Whores.