Next To Pay by WarishRelease date: April 30, 2021
Label: RidingEasy Records
RidingEasy Records signings Zig Zags thrashed with a joyful riotous conviction in their 2019 banger ‘Punk Fucking Metal’. Their label mates, San Diego’s noise upstarts Warish mantra could so easily be ‘Punk Fucking Grunge Metal’. Formed in 2018, they came at you with explosive energy in the shape of their debut album Down in Flames, and now with album number two sees them cement their blistering sound attack with greater clarity.
For the recording of Next To Pay comes a couple of readjustments as vocalist / guitarist Riley Hawk is now joined by bassist Alex Basaj, who arrived after the debut’s release. While original drummer Nick Broose plays on half of the songs before Justin De La Vega took over to complete rhythmic duties on the other half.
The line-up changes have done nothing to disrupt the visceral drive of Riley’s vision, in fact, it has only sharpened up their turbo charged early grunge, proto metal head-on clash as this time around there is an additional sustained punky aggressiveness. Yes, there is a huge dollop of Nirvana stylings, none so more in Riley’s strained vocal croon but there are more influences at play for Warish to be accused of mere Kurt copyists. Throw in a bucketful of Dischord Records, The Misfits, plus other noise merchants from the eighties and nineties and Next To Pay is a noisy no-nonsense directed assault that grabs you by the balls for a very visceral joy ride.
What the albums lacks in variation and expansiveness is compensated by the sheer adrenaline surges conjured. Starting with the buzz saw guitars of the title track, the relentless pace continues across the next nine tracks to raise the pulse and make you so long for hearing these in a small sweaty venue. They all hit that sweet spot for feeling young enough again for even this ageing rocker to wish to be among the mosh pit once again.
It’s hard to pick out standouts, just play them all back to back for full ferocious effect, including a cover of ‘Burn No Bridges’ by Dischord Records’ Grey Matter. Even the longest and most expansive of the songs – ‘Destroyer’ – and its brief dip into a quieter passage doesn’t deter the adrenalin from still pumping out like a broken main water supply pipe. It is a welcome respite then to have a sort of of breather on the fuzzy power chord tenth track ‘Ordinary’. It’s then back to the mosh pit again with ‘Superstar’ and ‘Make the Escape’ onwards to the finish line.
Lyrically it embraces an all imminent doom and no hope bleakness with anger and a, I don’t care but I do really attitude as on ‘Scars, ‘Another No One’ and on the politically charged ‘Say to Please’. While a special mention should also go to the tightly compact production which helps to land the band’s wild energetic punches with an assured direction.
For those seeking high octane speed thrills of grunge punk metal fury then look no further than Warish and Next To Pay. Play loud!