Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wet Nuns Pound Out An EP With Teeth

Wet Nuns
It was somewhere on the wilder side of Sheffield in South Yorkshire that singer-guitarist Rob Graham and drummer Alexis Gotts started to wonder whether a two-piece band could ever be loud enough. So the blues punk duo added a some more sludge metal decibels instead of a bass to find out a few years ago.

A few stiff and cheap drinks likely helped them out too, as the lively and often sarcastic English rockers seldom give up straight answers in interviews.The band name, they say, wasn't really picked. Instead, they secretly started 40 different music projects with stupid names like Orange Crockery and Wet Nuns, but the latter was the only one ever heard.

Turns out the story isn't far from the truth. They never really had a plan. They just picked Wet Nuns off a list of what they say were equally stupid names. And they never thought anyone would ever notice, especially in the smaller, tight-knit music scene of Sheffield.

Wet Nuns bangs out four furious tracks on Broken Teeth. 

A short time later, especially last year, people did more than notice. The band was being asked to open larger and larger shows, opening for acts as diverse as Broken Hands and Blood Red Shoes. And that, they say, is how they've evolved to make music today. 

Wet Nuns is largely about making music like the bands they like. But because the bands they like are such an eclectic mix, everything they make sounds louder, deeper, and harder than anyone who bookends them. It's even one of the reasons that they've started to take off. They reach a broader audience despite never being commercial. 

The lead-off song underscores that point. Broken Teeth is a powerful sludge metal track with the kind of teeth someone might expect from a steel town. The track truly showcases their talent, settling into a well worn groove. 

While the middle brings down some crash and thunder, the lyrics offer up little more than the opening line "I live my life with a taste of blood in my mouth." It also hints at the essence of the EP, which features two early tunes and two new tracks that capture their progression. 

All The Young Girls, which clocks in at under two minutes, is all about the guitar. It speeds along with confidence, pulling the percussion along for the ride. The song is one of the earliest releases, a little more stripped down when compared to the fullness they challenge themselves to produce as a duo today. 

The other song that has existed before is the closing track, Laura. It picks up some of their earlier sludge work and features growling vocals that have become smoother and more clear over time. The lyrics presumably fuse two great loves together — a girl and a guitar. 

The newer track, Feast, offers up something else. It is two minutes of blues meets metal and the result is a gritty mess of Americana hard rock that gives the band plenty of room to embellish during live performances. Either Gotts or Graham could make Feast into a staple for drawn out solo performances. Otherwise, it is the simplest of the four beasts they carved out for the EP. 

While I would have appreciated the band including last year's standout single, Heavens Below, to be included a bonus track on the EP, Wet Nuns is still proving itself to be deserving of last year's accolades. Sometimes bands don't have to be planned. They just need a couple of musicians to play.

Broken Teeth Prove Wet Nuns Chops At 8.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

As the Wet Nuns have gained additional traction as a band on both sides of the pond, it's clear they don't intend to let it go to their heads. They remain unpretentious, just hoping to get a few more songs under their belts and produce an album. With a little more luck, it will happen sometime this year. 

In the meantime, the four-track EP Broken Teeth can be downloaded on iTunes. You can also find the Broken Teeth EP on Amazon. Keep up with their tour dates on Facebook, including plans to visit the United States sometime this year and their very own "Detestival" in March.
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