If there’s a band that I’m genuinely thankful for the existence of in 2017, it’s Whores. Christian Lembach’s cynical tirades and noise god riffage over the tribal thunder of Casey Maxwell and Donnie Adkinson’s volcanic low end is almost enough to wash all the Chainsmokers and Ed Sheeran I’m otherwise constantly subjected to out of my mind. Whores have been cutting a swath of retribution across these United States with likeminded feedback junkies Bummer and Wrong, and the pain train rolled through Kung Fu Necktie last Thursday, May 17th.
Bummer was up first with a punkier, more ramshackle noise rock attack. Hearing these guys definitely made me want to hear more. Check them out on bandcamp. Wrong was up next. Though I never got around to reviewing it I was a big fan of the self-titled LP they released on Relapse last year. Even more of a groove inflected and earth movingly heavy force live, Wrong barreled through a set of quick, distorted rockers, and Mastodon-esque prog-leaning jams to a quickly filling venue that hung on every mind blowing note.
As Whores took the stage KFN’s diminutive show floor began to reach its boiling point in more ways than one, Philly having been in the grips of a spring heat wave last week that saw temperatures approach 100 degrees. Lembech and co. started from the beginning, ripping into a savage rendition “Daddy’s Money”, the lead track from their 2011 debut EP “Ruiner”, as the crowd erupted into the most chaotic reception I’ve ever seen in this venue. Seriously. The kids went nuts for the Whores.
The Atlanta, GA trio’s setlist surprisingly split the difference between each of their releases, not leaning as heavily on last year’s critically acclaimed LP “Gold” as one would suspect. Whores has become one of my favorite bands since discovering them opening for Red Fang a few years back though, and with a catalog as flawless as theirs, any Whores is great Whores, though I’d be lying if I said that my favorite part of the set wasn’t a furious take on raucous “Gold” opener “Playing Poor”.
Whores got a lot of attention from the metal press last year and deservedly so, whether you care more about politics or pop culture nowadays (or find yourself somewhere in between), you don’t have to be Fred Durst to know that everything is fucked and everybody sucks. Christian Lembech’s clever pessimism is specific enough to be a rallying cry yet achieves genius level abstraction so as to avoid preachifying. For the intellectual nihilist, Whores are thinking man’s metal gods without peer, and their live show gloriously follows suit.