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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Album Review: Wenches – Effin’ Gnarly

Pretty effin’ gnarly

Midwestern rock band Wenches have released their debut album, Effin’ Gnarly. Composed of ex-members of Racebannon, Torturess and The Lurking Corpses, the group members joined forces to create a truly rapturous hard rock band. The new project hails from Bloomington, Indiana, and is sure to electrify the world with its high-energy showcases of heavy rock and the spirit that guides this distinctly creative (and head bang-inducing) sub-genre.

Effin’ Gnarly welcomes the listener with high intensity screaming on the very first track, “Mama, Wake Up.” This dynamic and driven song’s jolt of energy is the perfect way to kick-off the album. The track begins with slow grooving cymbal rhythms alongside a captivating electric guitar, before erupting into a beautiful mess of banging drums and screaming vocals shouting, “Wake up mama.” The track is a wild ride, alternating between bursts of extreme intensity and significantly less violent cool down periods.

Fortunately, Wenches is ready to supply plenty of mosh pit music. “Truck Stop Tank Top” and “Bad Man” both incorporate an overload of punk rock vibes through heavy drums and guitars. Though “Truck Stop Tank Top” is less than a minute long, it is a 100% no-holds-barred minute, blasting the listener with a wave of shredding guitar riffs. Both tracks embody a Motörhead sound that is sure to make people move, whether it’s simple head-banging or a full-on leap into one’s first post-COVID pit.

The band covers Bad Wizard’s “Six To Midnight Man” with the same exact energy and shouted vocals. The only difference between the two tracks is that Wenches offers a more aggressive tone through the heavy guitars. “What’s Next To The Moon” and “My Lady’s On Fire” switch things up with the introduction of some ’70s rock elements as a homage to those that paved the way in rock music—especially since “What’s Next To The Moon” is cover of AC/DC. Like on “Six To Midnight Man,” the band adheres closely to the original, even maintaining the same sudden pauses after the build-ups and similar vocals. Wenches’ cover unfortunately does not include the iconic and electrifying guitar riff from the original track.

The album winds down with “100,000 Years,” a cover of a Kiss song from their debut record. The band puts their own spin on the track with an incredible drum solo and a more punkish vibe in the shouted vocals. The cover begins in a quiet place, with just the sound of a simple bass guitar, only to once again explode into the same energetic screaming vocals that the group has executed so well everywhere else on the project.

Effin’ Gnarly is the definition of pure rock and roll. Wenches electrifies the listener with an intense album full of shredding guitars, smashing drums and raw vocals that always seem to compel emotionally charged movement. With such an incredible debut album, the only downside is that Wenches will just have to get used to high expectations.

(Originally published in MXDWN.)

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