23 Jun 2022 - Thorsten
Noisey Psychedelia, Stoner, Sludge | SuperNova Records | Release date: 13 May 2022
Okay, to kick the big elephant from the room, this record is big, or rather: it should be big, because it works like a time machine back to late August 2002, so nearly twenty years ago. Back then an already somewhat established band released a record that many still consider groundbreaking: Songs for the Deaf was the record and Queens of the Stone Age was the band that was immediately catapulted into the limelight of every bigger music magazine. For Louisiana-based sludge-noise trio Woorms, their latest record Fatalismo should be the same. If the world was a fair, a just place!
This sounds like a big comparison, for sure, but to make it clear: it was chosen wisely. Not because of musical similarities – for the only one noticeable might be the open, loose and chilled attitude that both bands display when it comes to the question: What is possible for our band? Where can we go? What is acceptable? Both probably would say – anything goes.
Now to the differences between both: For Woorms the basis is not classical stoner rock and punk, but rather noise rock and sludge. On the basis of that the three masterful musicians really let go of any expectations and “do their thing”, just like they already have done on several records before which has earned a loyal fan-base. Nevertheless, when listen to such perfect songs as the opener ”Seizure Salad” with its smack-to-business-opening line ”I woke up hungry-hearted / laid my head down the same” over that mighty stomping beat which still gives enough room for the band to step off the gas for a moment after about 80 seconds and to open the song to some sliding riffs and breathing gasps. And then the track gets noisey and then…fades out in a spooky, eerie way with some sizzling seizures at the end.
With every spin it becomes obvious how good this rhythm section really is, how much Aaron Polk masters his drum kit as well as John Robinson does his bass, as they can go from pure jazzy opening (just listen to the opening drum solo of ”For the Time Bean”) to near-Fugazi post-punkishness (the bass line to start ”Grease him Full and Well”) to sheer heaviness (the ending of ”Quiet As Isaac”) in a matter of seconds. And above all we get the vocals by Joey Carbo which are highly variable and have a great range, not just in tonality but also in the way he sings – sometimes like a real crooner, sometimes intimately whispering and also able to growl and howl his lungs out in full grater mode in order to overpower the listener. Mighty, heavy, close, intimate.
The twists and turns these songs take, the shiftiness of each instrument, the power – baffling. The intricacies which lie beneath every songs take time to grasp but nevertheless they convince at first listen, which is a dichotomy, but not a paradox and which is maybe THE sign for a great record. That the guys also have a knack for humor in music (remember what Zappa said!) is another one of these head-scratching add-ons that not every band is able to give you – just have a look at track titles like ”Grease him Full and Well”, “For the Time Bean” or ”And Heck Followed with him”! It is clear why this band is on the same roster as Today is the Day as they share that lack of utter, unbelievable, total seriousness – they take their music seriously, don’t get me wrong, but they do not consider themselves the cream of the crop.
This band, channeling the likes of McLusky, QOTSA and sometimes the Melvins, is on the verge of being “the next big thing” - if it was for me to decide and for the world to follow, the world would have a new superstar-band from Louisiana! Woorms, everyone, listen to Woorms, and be taken back to that feeling from 20 years ago!