With the release of their full-length debut, 2019’s Down In Flames, the San Diego-based noise punk trio Warish — currently founding member Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals), Alex Bassaj (bass) and Justin de la Vega (drums) — quickly established a reputation for crafting mosh pit friendly, bludgeoning rippers, that would bring early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others to mind for listeners.
The San Diego-based JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album, the 13-song Next To Pay reportedly finds the noise punk trio at their darkest and most vicious. “Next To Pay is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone is going to die,” Warish’s Riley Hawk says in press notes. “It’s not the happiest record, I guess.” The album’s material sonically finds the band continuing to draw from the same influences as its predecessor, but while pushing their sound in a much more forceful — and in turn, nastier — direction, heavily influenced by the guitar work of Greg Ginn and Buzz Osborne — wiry contortions drenched in various chorus effect pedals. “This album is more of an evolution, it’s a little more punk-heavy,” Hawk adds. “We figured out what our sound was.”
Along with that evolution, the band went through a massive lineup change. The band’s original drummer Nick “Broose” McDonnell plays on roughly half the album’s song while their newest de la Vega played on the more recently written and recorded tracks. Bassaj joined the band after their debut was recorded, so Next To Pay marks his official Warish debut.
Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Seeing Red,” a breakneck, Bleach-era Nirvana like ripper centered around Hawk’s howled vocals, scuzzy power chords, a forceful and chugging bass line paired with pummeling drumming that continues a run of mosh pit friendly material — but with a feral snarl.
“S.H.M. (Second Hand Misery),” Next To Pay‘s latest single is a breakneck ripper featuring fuzzy, chugging power chords, a rousingly anthemic hook paired with Hawk’s yelps and howls. Sonically, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me of a gritty synthesis of Nirvana and Melvins, but full of bile and evil intentions.
Edited by the band’s Riley Hawk, the hilariously demented video features edited footage from Barney that features the enormous purple dinosaur and some innocent kids seemingly dancing and singing along to the song. “This video came to mind when I heard the ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ song by Barney playing somewhere while I was in a bad mood and was thinking, this song is kinda evil sounding. Then I went home and instantly started editing the video to the track ‘S.H.M.’ because it’s the polar opposite of ‘If You Are Happy And You Know It’. It fit nicely I thought, hah.”
The JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album Next To Pay is slated for an April 30, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records.