Jan 172018


For every great thing you think you have accomplished, a nagging voice in your head tells you it really doesn’t mean anything of lasting value. And for every failure, the list of which is much longer, your mind hammers another nail into the coffin that time is constructing for you. And on top of that, you look at the world around you and what you see only compounds the feeing that right now, and maybe for all your tomorrows, the glass has never been so empty.

We’ve all had days like that, some of us more than others. On days like that, pretending that everything is rosy offers no solace, because reality stares you in the face with unblinking eyes. You have to stare right back without flinching, and fight back too.

Those are some of the thoughts I had while listening to “The Glass Has Never Been So Empty“, an unflinching track we’re premiering from Failed Ambition, the new album by WTCHDR, and watching the video that accompanies it. Continue reading »

Mar 112014

When I reviewed the debut EP by Vancouver’s WTCHDR in 2012, I wrote: “WTCHDR brings together a bit of gory old Carcass, a bit of Dismember, a bit of crawling death/doom, a bit of crust-punk, a few nail-bombs, and some arson at a nursing home. Put all those bits together and you get an earful of chainsaw violence that will hold your interest from start to finish.” The comments were even better. One compared the band’s speed and fury to Trap Them. Another commenter wrote: “That guitar tone makes me want to do things with 4 liters of whiskey and half a mascot suit.” Only the top half, no doubt.

I also admitted in the review that I was kind of afraid to listen to the EP before I started, given the presence in the band of two marauders (Cam and Kevin) from the Vancouver grind band Burning Ghats. Perhaps you can imagine my trepidation when I learned that WTCHDR are about to release their debut album, which is entitled Triumph and Despair. But I girded my loins with sheet metal and even agreed to premiere a song from the album named “I Think I Can”, which features guest vocals by Andrew Drury of Southern Lord artist Baptists — as if WTCHDR weren’t hardcore enough on their own without a terrorist like that in the mix.

“I Think I Can” rumbles like a freight train and stomps like your spine is a snake that needs killing. Selfishly I would have preferred that the song were longer, but on the other hand I still had one working leg by the time it ended, so there’s that. Continue reading »

May 062012

Long-time readers may remember my repeated praise for a Vancouver, BC, grind band called Burning Ghats (the latest of multiple posts about the band can be found here). It turns out that two of the guys in Burning Ghats (Cam and Kevin) are in another Vancouver band called WTCHDR (along with members of other area bands, Spirals and Memorial). Last month, they released a self-titled debut EP, which you can stream and download for free on Bandcamp (HERE).

I had high hopes for this EP because I lost so many brain cells listening to the Burning Ghats releases and I’ve found that life is more enjoyable now that I’m able to comprehend less of it due to brain cell loss. But, to be brutally honest, I was also kind of afraid. I could stand to lose some more brain bits flying out my ears and nose, but if one or both of my eyeballs exploded out of their sockets, that would complicate important daily activities such as being able to locate the toilet paper and getting a beer out of the fridge for a big swig instead of the hot sauce.

So I tied a blindfold really tight, to provide some extra reinforcement, and started listening to this EP. Seven songs raced by in less than 11 minutes and left smoking tread marks across my face. The ingredients: Distorted guitar and bass chords tuned to subterranean levels of low, alternately slamming hard and dragging the listener through pools of filthy sludge; bursts of squalling lead guitar and ear-splitting feedback; a vocalist being strangled by barbed wire; percussion that sometimes pounds like a massive sledge and sometimes attacks with d-beat fury. Continue reading »