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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Whores. - "Ruiner."

I need to be more careful about where I let the internet take me. I stumbled upon Ruiner, the debut EP from Atlanta's Whores., clicked "like" on their Facebook page, and now my wife is fucking pissed because the feed on my profile says "Seth likes Whores." If you aren't prepared to explain to your family why you like Whores., you may soon be calling your unemployed high school buddy about crashing on his couch.

Let's stay focused on the sound. Beyond Whores.' simmering sludge rumble, unique meld of sonic assaults, and echo of shattering speakers is a confidence you can't coach. You can't say this trio blends styles (though some will cite a marriage of sludge and noise rock) because every definable trait is distinctly the band's own. I can only hope enjoying Ruiner on the first morning of 2012 is a portent of what listeners can expect throughout the year.

Daddy's Money immediately swings a crushing juxtaposition of riffs and pullback, announcing a presence that's as frightening as it is horn-raising. Slow and bass-laden, a Melvins fan should love this. Amongst all the fuzz and all the fury, however, is slick production that rightly delivers the band's musicianship to the listener. Christian Lembach remits a vocal harangue that's as refreshing as it is compelling, where lesser frontmen detract from their bands' sounds. Whew.

The elastic, explosive Fake Life clearly demonstrates a brutal cynicism and scorn for the importance attached to material possessions. Travis Owen drives tempos with hulking drumwork and Lembach's licks forbode and float to somewhere safe from suburbanites. Soaked in incendiary fuzz, trying to sit still is an exercise in futility.

Drunk-driving between rolling hills is the quick-shifting Shower Time, as tepid observation slides into an exhausted, worn escape cloaked in ermine noise. Straight Down is Ruiner.'s sludge highlight, giving top-billing to Jake Shultz's cobblestone tip-toe. His thick, looming bass crawls under barbed licks, disassociating brooding atmospherics with dejected mood.

Oh, that confidence we talked about is most-evident on Tell Me Something Scientific, the EP's heavy, weathered closer. Guitars deliver tiny cuts, one after another, paring away every comparison your narrow mind struggled to formulate. This angst-ridden lumbering giant breaks halfway in, channeling ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead without getting lost in itself. The cool, hazy climate balances with the awesome gravity to serve as an all-emcompassing slug to the sternum. Everything you love is compressed into these 4 1/2 minutes.

Whores. is that unmatched band that keeps our egos in check. We love thinking we've heard everything and we can pinpoint a band's sound and influences. Had I truly paid enough attention, I'd have pre-ordered the album, featured it two weeks ago, and included it in my top releases of 2011. I've been humbled by Whores. Now THERE'S a role reversal.

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