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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Album Review: Warish – Next To Pay

Punk to replay

The punkish noise-rock band from Oceanside, California, Warish, is back with their third 13-track album titled Next To Pay. The band is composed of lead singer, guitarist and professional skater Riley Hawk—yes, son of legendary skater Tony Hawk—drummer Bruce McDonnell aka Nick “Juice” McDonnell and bassist Alex Bassaj. Before creating Warish in 2018, Hawk and McDonnell were founding members of Petyr, a stoner rock band with a psychedelic sound inspired by Earthless.

Unlike in Petyr, Hawk’s vocals are singled out. Though his vocals are distorted, fans get a greater glimpse of Hawk’s musical talents in Warish. The Warish trio carries high-level energy that is transmitted through every beat of every track. This band is like no other, as they embody a certain intensity and passion that most modern music seems to lack.

The album kicks off with a raging and bad-ass title track “Next To Pay.” The screaming vocals and catchy guitar riffs blast the listener with extreme energy, enough to have anyone moving on their feet. The following track, “Another No One,” continues with the same high energy and raging vocals, this time with a little more of a kick with some insane percussions that will have people head-banging.

Warish gives off some grunge heavy metal garage band vibes with their track “S.H.M. (Second Hand Misery).” The song begins with an awry amp sound and jamming sounds of an electric guitar that is quickly joined by a bass and drums. A more doom-sounding melody is accompanied by raspy screaming vocals that carry a bit of an echo, appearing as though this was recorded during a garage show.

“Burn No Bridges” and “Say To Please” are tracks that seem like the Dead Kennedys collaborated with Screamo. “Destroyer” is definitely a track that stands out as it is more of a gloomy rock song that focuses on instrumental sounds for a great portion of the track, accompanied by low-spirited vocals. “Ordinary” is a slower track on the album with a bit of soul but features some elements of angsty teen punk rock. The album starts back up with “Superstar” and “Make the Escape,” which sound like ’80s classic punk rock.

Most of Next To Pay sounds like it would be featured in an early 2000s horror movie, a Thrasher YouTube video or even in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series—and that’s not just saying this because the frontman is a Hawk and professional skater. Nevertheless, Next To Pay is definitely an album to keep on replay as it travels through a wide range of energy levels and some bad-ass grunge tracks.

(Originally published in MXDWN.)

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