WHOURKR
Concrete


4.5
superb

Review

by Lizzy Williams USER (4 Reviews)
January 26th, 2015 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Innovative? Repulsive? Both?

Many bands, on their quest to sound as extreme as possible end up sounding unintentionally hilarious. The adolescent temper tantrums of deathcore, the dizzying incoherence of 4-second grind songs and the utter pretentiousness of labyrinthine tech-death epics all provide endless amusement for fans and critics alike. Some bands like the legendary Strapping Young Lad used the inherent absurdity of the genre to their advantage, their tongue-in-cheek approach only amplifying the chaos.

...and then there's bands like Whourkr. The French project is comprised of sole consistent member Igorrr and a rotating door of completely insane vocalists. On Concrete the man behind the mic is -i snor (get used to the weird names), possibly the most ridiculous of the bunch. His performance has to be heard to be believed as his incomprehensible babbling, horrific shrieking and wobbly operatic cleans will test the patience of even the most seasoned death metal listeners.

For anyone familiar with Igorrr's eponymous solo project, they'll have a good idea of what to expect from Whourkr. Glitchy beats, twisted song structures and the liberal chopping up of vocals, drums and guitars to recreate the sound of an audio program crashing. However, while Igorrr focussed on a strange mixture of baroque and breakcore, Whourkr instead puts more emphasis on grindcore and death metal, bringing the guitars and vocals to the forefront.

The riffs aren't particularly complex or interesting on their own, but are instead used as the basis for extensive editing. The guitar sound is contorted and dissected into an abominable mess, held together only by the similarly frantic drums. The drums make no attempt to sound realistic, as many utilisations of drum machines in death metal do. Instead Whourkr push their drum patterns into the territory of Venetian Snares' impossible rhythms, as shown in the amazingly titled Groovinbear.

As mentioned earlier, the vocals are one of the main highlights of the show. Opening track Mindgerb quickly introduces -i snor's disregard for all things tasteful as he randomly yelps over the main riff. But there is a beauty to his madness. The amount he expresses in the rawness of his voice is refreshing in a genre filled with cookie monster growls, tough-guy posturing and an oversaturation of Youtube vocal tutorials. Meanwhile, the lyrics consist of meaningless syllables (an approach that seems to have extended to the song titles and stage monikers).

The songs Bore Injektion and Santo are possibly the best showcases of -i snor's voice. Both blend harsh and clean vocals together, but in different ways. The former in an unhinged cybergrind nightmare that is probably the best indication of what the album has to offer. The latter is a doom metal epic (that lasts less than three minutes!) The apocalyptic tone is laced with operatic wailing and pained screams, displaying Whourkr's ability to present some chillingly haunting material from time to time.

Concrete is a 38 minute long bunch of ideas that are haphazardly arranged. There is such a disregard for cohesion and good taste that it's difficult to pinpoint which ideas work and which don't. While the runtime is modest, getting to the end of the album is an endurance test. There are quieter moments such as Cera Pollutea (a re-interpretation of a track from the previous album), but the glitchy rhythms and nonsensical riffs rarely let up. That said, it's worth it to get to the monumental closing track, Plantea. Similar to Santo, it has a beautiful melancholy vibe that excellently showcases Igorrr's compositional abilities while never feeling like a separate entity from the more deranged tracks that came before it.

While the work of Whourkr will likely appeal to very few people, it is an interesting example of the possibilities of extreme music. Concrete is a truly inspired effort with a commendable sense of irreverence and adventure. There is an energy and spontaneity that is hard to find anywhere else, something that makes Concrete special. Just don't expect the listening experience to be a pleasant one.


user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dizchu
January 26th 2015


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One day I'll review something bad or mediocre, I promise.

ScuroFantasma
January 27th 2015


2912 Comments


Golden review, it's a shame you've only written 4 so far Dizchu, you're a great writer.

Digging: Venomspitter - Venomspitter

ScuroFantasma
January 27th 2015


2912 Comments


Oh and the album sounds like something I'd dig, I'll give it a listen I think

Dizchu
January 27th 2015


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, I've been busy over the last few months with other things but I enjoy writing about music so I'll try to get more reviews done.



It's worth a listen even if it's just out of curiosity. I don't know many albums that sound like this.

Wizard
January 27th 2015


19794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is an awesome listen if you're in a zany type of mood.



I think you focus too much on the vocals but whatever, the review is easy to read and informative enough to grasp how the album sounds. Pos'd for reviewing something oddball.



It's worth a listen even if it's just out of curiosity. I don't know many albums that sound like this.



It was released by Crucial Blast and if you've checked out other bands on that label, you will find quite a few more electro-grind schizophrenic releases that sound very much like this.





Dizchu
January 27th 2015


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers for the pos. I might have written too much about the vox but they're honestly what grabbed my attention in the first place. Fair criticism though.



I'll check out the label's other releases, sounds like a goldmine from how you describe it.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2015


2925 Comments


review is solid, no criticisms aside from what's been mentioned. pos.

titanslayer
January 27th 2015


2215 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great review, convinced me to check this out.

I can see why people would like this but unfortunately I really disliked it

Dizchu
January 27th 2015


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. Yeah, I wouldn't even call this an "acquired taste". The sound is so obnoxious that if you can't get into it, it'll probably just sound like nails on a chalkboard.

demigod!
January 27th 2015


46361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review. i really love this too, though i can rarely listen to it. it's just so draining.

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?

danielito19
March 26th 2015


8098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why am i just now hearing this



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy