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Workin’ Man Noise Unit - Play Loud

  • Written by  Dave Armour

Following some well received cassettes and 7”s, an appropriately instructively titled debut LP from WMNU.  Exponents of boisterous riffing, following in the lumbering footsteps of the likes of Blue Cheer, Mudhoney and contemporary ear bludgeoners such as Part Chimp, but with the added dimension of a near constant wash of pedal and gizmo generated noise resembling a badly tuned short wave radio in a wind tunnel.

Although an integral part of their sound this works in a complimentary fashion and never obscures the catchiness of either the riffs, or the songs which range from upbeat, punchy ragers, to lurching, at times languid trudges. And occasionally a combination of the two.

Hi-tempo 'Crusin' The IDR' (possibly the first song concerning home town Reading’s Inner Distribution Road) hits the spot with a rapid fire stop/start verse shifting into a glorious chorus which abruptly (and slightly frustratingly) slams to a halt and 'Yeah I Was Hypnotised' combines a mid '80s Fallesque riff with an irresistible '60s party swing concluding with an epic ponderous trudge.

Elsewhere, Side 2 opener 'Black Lights’ nagging feedback drone brings to mind the Bomb Squad’s reshaping of the J.B.’s, and things turn a bit political (“Dickheads in the House of Lords”) on 'Hate It'.     

Vocal clarity is clearly not a priority but memorable couplets do emerge from the sonic gloop; “Lose yourself, lose your mind ('With Love Supreme'), “We’ve got nothing to say, but we’ll say it anyway” ('Icegrill 420') And an anguished “Breaking the Law!” in 'Creepin’ Around'.

Guitar solos are kept to a minimum other than in strident slugfest 'Jammer' which brings the album to a close, with a plaintive lilt of lightly strummed guitar, ambient hiss and what sounds bizarrely like the speeded up mutterings of Davy Jones.

Clocking in at 34 minutes this is a fine LP; well (but certainly not over) produced with a hefty bottom end. If it leaves you wanting more (as it should) then check out their soundcloud for details of previous releases.  

Play Loud is available from amazon and iTunes.

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