Thursday, 8 August 2013

WOAHNOWS - EP REVIEW

Woahnows - The Joy Disorder EP (Big Scary Monsters Recording Company) 
Woahnows - The Joy Disorder

Release Date: 17th August 2013

I'm pretty proud to be a Plymouth lad, born and bred. It's a great place to grow up and a beautiful part of the world but as a teenager with an unhealthy obsession with music there wasn't much to keep me going. Even starting an intensely mediocre band did nothing to quench my thirst for music so I looked further afield. Years later, I've returned to my hometown and I'm so happy that things have taken a turn for the better, with a thriving scene and venues popping up all over the place. One man responsible for a healthy chunk of that is Dan James, proprietor of the city's premier rock venue the White Rabbit and enthusiastic bassist with hardcore trio Woahnows. This latest EP is a 5 track stormer that is as unrelenting as it is captivating.  

Opener 'Low Machs' hits you like a truck to the side of your car when you thought you were the only one on the road. Reminiscent or the Ataris or Engine 88, bands that I grew up listening to, this is slick, powerful and absorbing stuff. Singer and guitarist Tim Rowling-Parker (poshest name in punk?) spent some time as the bassman for Plymouth folk-punkers Crazy Arm and you can hear some of the influence in there but this is more guttural stuff, more from the belly. 'Grey Matters' is a choppy little number with nice little drum flicks and a rolling bassline that powers the song forward in to clashing cymbals and thrashing guitars. At the half way point, 'Painfully Safe' is perhaps the most in-your-face song in this collection, with a Reuben-esque riff that embraces the loud/quiet technique beautifully and will have many a head bobbing before making crowds explode in to frenzy of sweat, limbs and cider. The shouted a cappella section in the middle is full of emotion and protest in a way that Frank Turner can oft be heard - not necessarily the best voices in the world but by God do they mean it and that's what really matters, right?

Taking things off on a slight tangent, 'Karuna' (the Sanskrit word for compassion), Woahnows show themselves to be a versatile beast as well as a powerful one. The almost prog-rock time signatures and changes in direction keep you guessing at every turn which is, I have to say, a refreshing thing from a punk band of any description. Final and title track, 'The Joy Disorder', is not what I had suspected but then again I had wondered if it was a tribute to what Bernard Sumner and Peter Hooke did in the short period between Joy Division and New Order. Instead, it's a guitar driven two and a half minute rousing call to arms that climaxes with the refrain "Nothing ever happens til somebody makes it happen". Woahnows have got passion, talent and big ol' punk balls which makes them, in my book, pretty damn hot. What's more, they're doing their EP launch on the seafront in Plymouth in the open air and anyone who's ever been there knows that takes some cajones - if the weather doesn't get you, the shower of tomb stoners will!


Live Dates:
17th August - The Hoe, Plymouth (Open Air EP Release Show)
19th August - Power Lunches, London
26th August - Deadpunk Exchange, Bristol (w/Sick Of It All)
30th August - White Rabbit, Plymouth (w/Tall Ships)
3rd September - Bici Bar, Milan
4th September - Manhatten Pub, Turin
12th September - Stage Club, Larissa
13th September - Klub Fest, Belgrade
15th September - Biker's Kitchen, Novi Sad
16th September - Mali Pogon Jedinstvo, Zagreb
17th September - Arena, Vienna
18th September - Weststadthalle, Essen
19th September - Privat, Cologne
20th September - Secret Show, Hannover
21st September - Rockcafe Asgard, Beverwijk
22nd September - De Onderbroek, Nijmegen
23rd September - Plan B, Biefeld
24th September - The Baracke, Munster
25th September - Wild Rover, Aachen
26th September - Weststadthalle, Essen
27th September - Landshut, Wintergarten
28th September - Lederer, Regensburg

29th September - Sub, Graz

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