REVIEW: Worse – Demo

Release date: December 9, 2016

Worse’s Demo generated a fair amount of interest in the metal world, coming as it does from three former members of 3 Inches of Blood. Despite that, this three-track release does not sound like 3IOB — a fact that has been lauded by some and decried by others. Instead, the trio has chosen to explore new musical directions.

Rather than the old-school metal some fans might have hoped for, this demo displays more elements of sludge and hardcore. In my opinion, the decision to try something different pays off here. These three epic tracks are built around hefty, distortion-laden riffs that would make any band proud.

The demo rumbles into life with ‘Beds Are Burning the Midnight Oil,’ which features a growling intro before diving straight into those sweet riffs I mentioned earlier. This track probably features the most straightforwardly ‘metal’ vocals on the release, but that changes on the second track. ‘Curton Bummings’ showcases angsty, hardcore-style vocals — not dissimilar to those of Anchoress. Being rather keen on Anchoress, that is probably why this is my favourite track on the release.

The third track, “A Never-Ending Avalanche,” is loud and in-your-face. A pounding, intense drumbeat drives it forward and will have any true rock fan headbanging in time. We hit a slower tempo later in the song, before speeding up again — that ability to switch things up at just the right moment is one of Worse’s greatest strengths.

With Justin Hagberg on bass, Shane Clark on guitar, Matt Wood on drums and vocal duties shared between the three, Worse has some serious musical chops behind it. All three were, as mentioned, in 3 Inches of Blood at various times and have kept busy since then. Clark and Wood are part of BISON and its sludgy sound. Hagberg has recently contributed organ to local favourites Dead Quiet, and will also be filling in on bass for (another local favourite) Black Wizard on their upcoming tour with Weedeater.

While that means Worse has very impressive credentials, you have to wonder how much time the members will have for this project — because it would be a shame if the band did not release anything else after this rip-roaring demo.

Stream/download Worse’s Demo on Bandcamp.