With the release of their 2019 full-length debut, 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 bring early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others to mind.
The San Diego-based JOVM mainstays’ 13-song sophomore album Next To Pay officially drops today and the album 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.” Sonically, the album 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, with the album’s guitar sound being heavily influenced by the work of Greg Ginn and Buzz Osborne — i.e., 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.”
It could be argued that the band’s sonic evolution was informed by a massive lineup changes within the band: The band’s original drummer Nick “Broose” McDonnell plays on roughly half the album’s songs while their newest drummer Justin de la Vega played on the more recently written and recorded tracks. Alex Bassaj joined the band after their debut was recorded, so Next To Pay marks his official Warish debut.
So far I’ve written about three of the album’s released singles:
- “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)” another breakneck ripper that sonically reminded me of a gritty synthesis of Nirvana and Melvins — but full of bile and evil intentions.
- “Scars,” a piss and bile fueled ripper that managed to sound like a synthesis of
- Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica.
“Destroyer,” Next To Pay’s fourth and latest single is a furious and snarling ripper that may remind some folks of Melvins, Nevermind-era Nirvana and others, as its centered around fuzzy and distorted power chords, thunderous drumming and distorted vocals. Much like its predecessors, “Destroyer” is the sort of song meant to play excessively loud and jump into a mosh pit full of sweaty and jubilant humans. God, I fucking miss shows.
Filmed by Lannie Rhoades and Nate Correia, the recently released video throws the members of Warish on a low-budget, train wreck of a talk show, hosted by an indifferent and sarcastic host. The interview segment is cringe-inducing and full of Dad jokes, followed by a live performance of sorts much like a real talk show.
Next To Pay is out now through RidingEasy Records.