Thursday, March 7, 2013

REVIEW: WHITE WIDOWS - S/T



It’s hard to look at releases from Sacrament Music without thinking first of Saint Vitus, Brooklyn’s own headquarters for heavy music that dethroned Duff’s as the borough’s premier metal bar. The venue’s success is absolutely deserved and a testament to both the dedication of their ownership and staff as well as the passion of heavy music fans. After landing a string of impressive acts such as Eyehategod, Torche, and even their own name-sake, the venue has established itself as an essential East Coast destination for every band with true street cred. If you’re a fan of any sort of rock music you will feel like you’re home as soon as you step foot in Saint Vitus. It’s more welcoming than any establishment with black walls has a right to be.

White Widows’ self-titled debut is the second release from Sacrament Music, Saint Vitus’ own record label, and it’s a tough-as-coffin nails slab of metallic New York hardcore that could bruise you with a stare and obliterate you with a single punch. The six track album is an inventive and relentless attack, daring otherwise stationary crowds to just try and remain still while this shit is being played. With members from great live bands such as Primitive Weapons and Goes Cube, this is music that really should be seen on the stage. The mix is great but you can’t replicate the sweat and sway of a rabid audience, no matter how intense the performances are. Vocalist David Castillo is a truly charismatic frontman, skinning the front row raw with his screams and encouraging the masses to show their ugly side.

While the music is deeply rooted in hardcore this is an album rich with stylistic strokes that defy genre limitations (See: the shredding guitar solos on opener “Ace Rothstien,” guest vocals courtesy of Brendan Garrone from Incendiary on “El Marrano,” and the grimy gutter blues on both “Slow Burn” and “Sin Taxes”). White Widows are not one-dimensional knuckle-scrapers, they have a hundred different weapons at their disposal and they are lethally trained with all of them. They also mix speeds to great effect, triggering riots with thrashing punk riffs before slamming the breaks with sludgy breakdowns. Listening to this, I can picture the circle pits forming, the slam of bodies spreading wall to wall, the music possessing someone and encouraging them to dive from an amp stack into the crowd below. As I said before, you can’t always replicate live energy, but White Widows are willing to maim you trying. This album, if nothing else, is all the inspiration someone should need to see this band in person.

Speaking of, they will be playing in Brooklyn this coming weekend (Saturday, 3/09 at The Acheron in Brooklyn), as well as next month (4/20 at the Knitting Factory w/ Black Breath and Mutilation Rites). If you’re in the NYC area: Whatever plans you have that may interfere with seeing one of these shows, cancel them. if you need an excuse tell them Mister Growl will eat your brain-meat if you miss a chance to support this band, because you’re obviously not properly using that organ if you let these chances go by.


Listen to their album streaming now on Brooklyn Vegan: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2013/03/white_widows_we.html

And follow them over on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/whitewidowsNYC

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