When: Sat., Aug. 2, 9 p.m. 2014
Noise rock has never asked permission to do its distorted deeds. Even at its commercial peak in the 1990s, the purveyors of the sub-alternative sound were interlopers, wedding crashers wearing passable fake-tuxedo Ts while drooling over the open bar. The blasphemers from the glory days of Amphetamine Reptile, Touch & Go and Trance Syndicate—bands like Cherubs, God Bullies, and The Jesus Lizard—still scratch away at the scars, fondly or otherwise.
The Atlanta power trio Whores. doesn't paw at so much as peel open those old wounds. Unabashed vinyl fetishists and self-described feminists, Whores. wear these negative influences on the sleeves of puke-stained tuxedo coats. On their two brief albums, they've remained faithful to the presiding noise rock aesthetic without copying it. A Melvins streak runs like a shock of white hair through last year's venomous Clean—not surprising given the band recorded it with Ryan Boesch, an engineer on 1997's Honky. The six tracks funnel monolithic riffs and thumping drums into self-deprecating song titles like "I Am An Amateur At Everything" and "I Am Not A Goal-Oriented Person." Lembach's lyrics reflect the restless legs and crises of conscience that serve as part of noise rock's core. "Can a man like me remain in the light?" he bellows on "Blue Blood," a nod towards or maybe even a dig at 21st-century folkie M. Ward.
There's no glamour to what Whores. do. In a live setting, frontman Christian Lembach abstains from grateful or grating banter; he's adverse to approval. The songs are the work, and the satisfaction comes in doing them. As with construction, demolition or any such manual labor, their concerts demand ear protection, because the proceedings start with a roar and don't let up. After all, Whores. are physical, but you probably already guessed as much. With American Sharks, Static Is a City and Bedowyn. —Gary Suarez