Review Summary: Simple, fun punk rock - full of youthful rage and enthusiasm
Hushwhore – self-styled “riot girl punk” from Birmingham – kick off their EP with “Take It All”, a surprisingly tempered, restrained track considering their aggressive, visceral live show. This and the track’s inclusion of a vocal melody – however crude – show this band aren’t your usual boneheaded punk band. It makes a nice change from music that sounds like banging your head against a wall, particularly with some subtle recording techniques to enhance their sound – though this ultimately still sound like a demo. Sometimes the band try to outplay their recording environment, rather than keeping things simple – though there are some moments when the rhythm section come across quite cleanly, which is usually a tell-tale failing of budget recordings.
Second track “Fraud” sounds more conventionally punk, with vocalist Charly channelling the sound of John Lydon and the rest of the band following suit. Interestingly, the lyrics challenge the well-off who claim a modest background, whispering “don’t preach your anarchy”. Given the track sounds like a genuine, honest homage to the Sex Pistols, the meaning here is hard to interpret. Are the band standing side by side with the best known early punk band, or mocking their transformation into part of the establishment? Punk’s always been the music of the people though, so in a sense it’s nice that the meaning is open to interpretation.
On “Take It All” the band’s sound sat halfway between punk and NWOBHM legends Girlschool. The band’s punk spirit definitely comes out more on “Fraud”, regardless of what their lyrical intent may be. The EP’s final track, “Throw You Out The Window” is longer, and easily their most eclectic. It’s the standout track, with the band sounding at their most confident and passionate, and with some intelligent guitar licks flying around. The first two tracks, the guitars were a little understated, lacking the bite required for a lead instrument – heck any instrument – in this kind of band, but here guitarist Meesh shines.
Meesh’s moment then, the last track, brings the EP to an appropriate conclusion, with the other tracks having felt more rhythm section focussed, and with a frontwoman who demands attention whether the music asks for it or not. Clocking in at a little over 10 minutes benefits the group – their rock ‘n’ roll hasn’t developed enough shades to last for too much longer, but as a three track, it’s the perfect amount of time to listen to them for. Sure, my life hasn’t been turned on its head, but it’s still good, fun stuff.