posted on 6/2011 By:
Worthless is the Relapse debut for Chicago-area power-violence outfit Weekend Nachos, and worthless it is not. With appropriately thick-toned guitars and ever-shifting tempos, the band lurches through fourteen tracks as indebted to tar-coated sludge as to hardcore and grind. I admit that Worthless is my introduction to the band’s catalog – I’d previously heard their name, most recently in reference to the first This Comp Kills Fascists, but until Worthless landed on my desk, I’d never quite managed to get past the goofy band name to find the quality punk beneath. Yeah, that’s my fault… Sorry ‘bout that… Better late than never, I guess…
So now that I’m caught up, what’s the score on Worthless?
Album opener “Hometown Hero” sets the scene with a d-beat intro that jarringly drops into a lumbering sludge-caked second half before stopping dead completely, a formula of on-a-dime speed changes and one-minute slap(a-ham)ed together punk/sludge sections upon which the band relies almost exclusively for the next thirteen tracks. (A few minor deviations do occur – among other instances, “The Meeting” sports a great intro riff that remains the most metallic moment on hand, and the title track nearly lives up to its own name by being little more than four minutes of feedback with the slight saving grace of more of the same power-sludge appended to the finale.) Though the formula becomes quickly apparent and most of Worthless blends together into a twenty-seven-minute spree of blasting and crawling, it never really wears thin. Weekend Nachos luckily possesses skill enough to insert moments of variety just often enough to keep the ears engaged.
The vocals range from the predominant throaty scream to the occasional Dropdead-ish high-pitched chatter and even a few moments of a more clean, traditional hardcore punk approach (see “Jock Powerviolence” and “The Fine Art Of Bullshit”). Repetitive in structure though they are, these tunes aren’t entirely interchangeable – “Hero,” “Old Friends Don’t Mean Shit” and those more hardcore moments of “Jock Powerviolence” are highlights, while the only failures remain the title track’s monotonous noise approach and the seven-minute album-closing sludge trudge of “Future.” (That latter point is the only moment wherein Weekend Nachos’ formula exhausts more than excites.)
There’s a certain comfort in a band or a record with a one-track approach, of course – from the outset, you know what you’re getting. Those looking for variety will not find it here, but fans of power-violence will see in Weekend Nachos a band that fits snugly against the likes of sub-sub-genre titans Man Is The Bastard and No Comment. In the same manner that the silly band name belies the power and … well, violence of the band, the album title is contradicted outright by the consistency and quality of the tunes within. Worthless may not be a year-ender, but it's satisfying and destructive in its own right and, ironically, worthy.
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