New York Music Daily

No New Abnormal

Tag: punk-metal

Warish Bring Their Hard, Fast Attack to the Knitting Factory

Warish play hard, fast, heavy music that sounds a lot like Queens of the Stone Age: metal chord changes at punk speed. They’re not big on guitar solos but they are big on hooks and evil chromatics. They like their textures fuzzy and dry, Pantera-style. Their new album Down in Flames – which doesn’t seem to be a Dead Boys reference – is streaming at Bandcamp. On the record, they tend to pair similar-sounding songs together, maybe because the tunes here are on the short side: no wasted notes. Warish are playing the Knitting Factory on Sept 30 at 8 PM followed by the epic Wizard Rifle and then psychedelic doom legends Acid King; cover is $20. Because of the L-pocalypse, you’ll need to find a way to take the G train – which doesn’t have any scheduled delays that night, at least as far as we know – to connect with whichever subway you’re taking home.

The album’s first track, Healter Skelter doesn’t sound anything like the Beatles, but it does sound exactly like QOTSA: fast, gritty, simple riffage, mostly a one-chord jam. You’ll Abide has the same kind of hammering QOTSA drive, but the changes are just as fast and furious and a lot catchier.

Big Time Spender has gleefully evil doomy hammer-ons from frontman/guitarist Riley Hawk in between the bludgeoning riffs; Bleed Me Free follows the same pattern. With its catchy 3-2-1 minor-key hook, the desperate wartime trench tune In a Hole is the album’s punkest tune. Then they follow with Bones, which is much the same.

Voices has an especially tasty chromatic menace and hints of horror garage rock. They go back toward punk with Fight and its slithery raga-rock intro. Then, in Shivers, they shift from wide-angle psychedelic chords to straight-ahead punk and a little halfspeed Sabbath.

Running Scared could be surf punk legends Agent Orange at their heaviest. The album closes with the cynical, QOTSA-style blues-tinged Their Disguise – finally, a shreddy guitar solo, and it’s unhingedly good! Not a single weak song on this record: these guys have really figured out their sound. If you like speed and power, this is for you

Sister Anne Kicks Out the Jams at Arlene’s

Any band named after a MC5 song is usually worth checking out: in Sister Anne’s case, you have three more chances to check them out this month since they’re playing every Monday night at Arlene’s at 9. Their blend of punk and various shades of metal is as original as it is in-your-face and sexy. “I’m not here to be a good-time black girl,” frontwoman Kitana Andrews belted on the opening chorus of their first song this past Monday, sarcastically toying with white stereotypes about black women as the song shifted from slow to fast and back again, shades of the Stooges circa 1971. Tall and charismatic like a version of Grace Jones from just before the Road Warrior era but more feminine, she made a powerful presence out in front of the band.

Who have better chops and more eclectic taste than your average punk band. Shane Kerton is the rare rock drummer who actually swings; bassist Garrett Wright (whose mom was in the crowd, and is obviously cool because she was into the show) sprinted through a wicked solo and an endless series of tough hammer-on hooks on one song while guitarist Joe Torcicollo spun out storms of metal shrapnel when wasn’t roaring or growling or playing a gentle 60s folk-rock tune. Which he did, with Andrews singing quietly how she was happy to be somebody’s girl – and of course they punked it out from there. They kept the sense of the unexpected going: one of the songs had Torcicollo channeling James Williamson and Kerton doing a totally spot-on Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson groove. Another was faster, with a bit of a southern rock feel, like Molly Hatchet without the screeching (hard to imagine, but try it); another sounded like the UK Subs with Torcicollo firing off acidic sheets of noise. They ended the set with a surprisingly slow, quiet, brooding tune, the lyrics mourning someone “who I used to be.” The band’s one mistake was a cover and it was awful. Wikipedia says – right or wrong, you never know with them – that it was written by Mike Oldfield (the Exorcist Theme guy) and was a hit for Hall & Oates sometime back in the 80s. Whatever. Nobody’s going to come see this band for their covers, anyway – it’s their originals that kick ass. They got the show back  on track and ended with a funny singalong by a former bass player (they used to have two of them), Leon Chase of Uncle Leon & the Alibis that put the crowd in the mood for the club’s weekly punk/metal karaoke.