Workin' Man Noise Unit - Play Loud

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2015-11-13

We all need balls-out hard-rock cut with a gilt edge. We first got it with the mighty Black Sabbath, who wrote the template for heavy rock; we then got our ribs rattled by Lemmy's mob and the rest is history.

Reading's own noiseniks, Workin' Man Noise Unit, draw from the blueprint of the two aforementioned bands, but before you even think about dismissing them as mere impersonators, they infuse the whole fucking thing with a love of Albini, Jesus Lizard, and Fugazi. They are agitated from start to finish as they pour their entire bodily fluids into new long-player, the aptly titled Play Loud. This is agitated, cathartic rock played at a nihilistic intensity.

The impact is instant on opener 'With Love Supreme'. A wall of soaring noise hijacked by a rising guitar and a hounding vocal bouncing between the drums and crunching bass, a startlingly good in your face opener. 'Crusin' the IDR', is quite possibly a tribute to the most mind numblingly dull piece of road in Reading with mentions of concrete and the best football crowd chant chorus you'll hear all year.

'Play Loud' has nine tracks in total all played with a barrage of inexorable heavy hard irregular punk rock albeit with hardcore leanings. There isn't a let up in the drive and tension relieving power that WMNU deliver, personified by 'Icegrill 420' but they do have the capacity to not just drive your ears into submission when the eery 'Creeping Around' threatens to slowly remove your spleen, clean it out and put it back again!

'Yeah I was hypnotised' weighs in at over five minutes and it's dark haunting arrangement is like being stuck in the middle of a circular moshpit with no visible signs of escape such is it's claustrophic cauldron.

The cloak and dagger feel continues on the brooding 'Smoke Lights', incoherent misanthropic vocals disguised by a self pitying bassline and atonal guitar.  Proof that the band don't need to play foot to the floor music to leave an positive imprint on your psyche.

'Play Loud' is a stunningly good album, dark in spirit and delivery but with all the impact of a 1000 jackhammers slicing open old wounds and gleefully reslicing them again.

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