Sunday January 21st 2018

Wargraves – “Bastard Cavalry”



Wargraves – “Bastard Cavalry”


Sometimes a band comes along and I really don’t know how to define them. And in some ways, that’s great, because it gives me something fresh to listen to and in some ways, that’s bad because a big part of my job, besides emptying the TNB office trash bins, is describing what bands sounds like. (Editor in Chief, Andy Bang, is constantly emphasizing that my duty to the dustbins, as he calls it, is far more important than my tedious so-called writings I turn into him every week.)

He makes it a point that I know, that once we get “a real writer” on board that my duties will be strictly janitorial, which I look forward to as I feel that is my true calling, my true artistic expression to be.

Now, this New Hampshire band, Wargraves, is quite content to tag themselves with “punk, hardcore and surf,” and though I see those influences in the music I’m tempted to tag them with “proto-punk,” which prompts you to promptly reply, “What the fuck is that?”

Then I reply, “It means something that was around before, the original, the first, relating to a precursor. And in punk that would be someone who had a huge influence on it’s formation. Iggy Pop, Mc5, Modern Lovers, New York Dolls have all been referred to as “proto-punk”.

This band, to my ears, could be simply called a rock band if their music wasn’t so abrasive and fast. But they never verge into the rough, hardcore style of vocals or speed-of-sound rhythms of hardcore bands.

What they do “verge” onto is some kick ass music that rocks and chops and makes your blood pressure rise through the roof, your emotions explode like firecrackers on the fourth of July and your ears climax in ecstatic ecstasy causing you to stick a lit cigarettte in your ear afterwards while creating an awful, sweaty mess for the janitorial crew to clean up.

While I get out my mop let’s imbibe in their tunes:

“Bastard Cavalry” busts out with an urgent, chugging rhythm- then an echo-y, mosquito guitar riff descends upon it before a “1,2,3,4,” roar from the vocalist leads to some powerful music blasting and a bleating, emotional lyrical line. “After dusk you will fall.” This song is really an energetic, explosive surge of emotion that rocks hard and hits right. Towards the end the song accelerates just a notch to total bring us to a complete audio climax. Great song.

A two-note alternating guitar lick with smashing hits introduces “False Believers,” but once we’re into the song we’re at near hardcore speed with melodic vocals. This song leaves us just enough rope to hold onto as we’re ripped onto a roller coaster of sounds with the danger of us reeling off the tracks into oblivion. There’s a bit of East Bay Ray of The Dead Kennedy’s on the surf like guitar licks but the vocals are too expressive and melodic to be lumped in with hardcore or even punk. This song is some potent, powerful stuff geared to grab you by your ears and throttle you into blissful submission.

“T.T.R.” (tied to rope) is another hard hitting number with vocals pressed up against your face, emitting passionate words and sounds careening against your skull and eardrums and colliding with your heart straight into your soul. A deep, hard groove with stutter rhythm guitars happen, while a trilling, surf like, guitar lead comes crashing in to complement the slashing, lethal guitar chords. Another perfect tune.

Wargraves is one of the best new bands I’ve heard this year, easily landing in my top five, and I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of them before you’ve read this, but I’ll be very surprised, if a year from now, most folks on the scene will not only be quite aware of who they are but will like them a lot, as well.

Sometimes a punk writer comes along and we don’t really know how to define him. And is some ways, that’s great, because we couldn’t be bothered with his idiotic display of blatant incoherency.

But sometimes a band like Wargraves comes around and creates some heavy music that is so raw and powerful, pure and potent, real and intense- we just don’t give a fuck what a reviewer says, ’cause we know how hard and true this hits us and how much we like it and how it makes us hunger for more-

And I won’t argue with that.


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