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With a name like Warish, the San Diego noisy punk-metal trioassured listeners they were in for a maniacal bludgeoning from theget-go. But the band has never been as dark and bitingly viciousas the wholly ominous Next To Pay. The band’s mix of earlyAmRep skronk, dark horror rock and budget doom antipathy istaken to a whole new level on this 13-song invective.
“‘Next To Pay’ is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone isgoing to die,” vocalist/guitarist Riley Hawk says. “It’s not thehappiest record, I guess.” To say the least. On the title trackopener, Hawk screams through shredded vocal chords with thetuneful rage of Kill ‘Em All era James Hetfield and the seethingdesperation of Kurt Cobain.
“This album is more of an evolution, it’s a little more punk-heavy,”Hawk says of the group quickly founded in 2018. “We figured outwhat our sound was.” And with that evolution comes a change inthe lineup. Original drummer Nick (Broose) McDonnell plays onabout half of the songs, while new drummer Justin de la Vegabrings an even tighter urgency to the remaining, more recenttracks. Bassist Alex Bassaj joined after the debut album wasrecorded and here showcases muscular and melodic low endpreviously missing. Riley Hawk is also the pro-skater son of TonyHawk.
Inspired by early-Nirvana, The Misfits, The Spits and Master ofReality-era Black Sabbath, Next To Pay keeps things heavy andpummeling at all times. The guitars are heavy and powerful,though decidedly not straightforward cookie cutter punk; more likeGreg Ginn’s and Buzz Osbourne’s wiry contortions, andoccasionally drenched in chorus effects. The rhythms bash rightthrough it all with aggressive force ensuring that nothing getsoverly complicated. Warish’s cover of 80s Dischord Records punksGray Matter turns the emotive flail of “Burn No Bridges” into aMotorhead style basher.