Completely out of the blue, Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister jacked a Cessna plane, flew high, turned left and looked right before tailspinning into a sandstorm. They came out of the sandstorm mutated, Fantastic Four style, and instead of fighting crime, they used the soaring sounds of the storm (and some of the grit) to grind out 5 harsh tales contained in an EP called Ribs.
Jesus, look at the cover… “are you my mummy?” is now earworming in my head.
So, how do the band fare? Well, Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister love their apocalyptic post rock, full of sludgy drones and grandiose atmospheres that expand and contract before becoming shoegaze (which is also a very cool genre). There are vocals, sometimes upfront but mostly just playing an equal role with the instruments.
‘Just below the ribs’ is such a slowburning track. It creeps around, burning everything around it with a searing guitar tone and shaking the foundations of anything in its path with a heavy stride (I blame its paunch). The drumming marks a military pace, sometimes skipping a few beats to accentuate the drama (and urgency) of this cascade. Once it has passed, only the lonely notes of a bass fade away…
…which leads to a creepy sound, a mix between the clicking tongue sound from the ghosts in the film The Grudge and that thing the Predator did in its celluloid dreams. ‘Babies’ is as scary as the real thing to the normal bachelor man (I should know) and although it’s not as urgent as ‘Just below the ribs’, the signature sound for Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister is presented: a mesmerising bass, fierce slow-but-fast drumming, chunky guitars and vocals with enough emotion to just become a growl but shying away from that resource and instead tapping into a voice that hints longing and regret in one intertwined form.
Remember what I said about post rock? Honestly can’t remember if it’s the first genre to utilise field recordings of people raving and ranting, but my first experiences with that were with post rock bands (Godspeed you! Black Emperor, Explosions in the sky, Antennas to heaven). ‘Man outside Cumberland Arms, Byker, 11/07/11’ is the bleakest track here, with a man (drunk with alcohol or intergalactic power…) delivering some very Galactus-like threats. The smouldering atmosphere (ebow? synth? love it) is the musical foundation that helps the band musicalise this speech (hey, he even names drop Jesus! And Richard Dawkins!) The speech subsides and the band then takes the reins for a fantastic explosion of sounds. It all fades away, the man continues to talk and then a bouncer (or something that sounds like one) tells him politely to leave. He goes away and the person recording (a guy from the band?) says “that was so good”. Just my thoughts, really.
‘Fix my corrections’ is an odd one: it’s the only short track but still packs a punch, a little intermezzo before we go for the pièce de résistance that is ‘Regards, Bison’. Who knows if it’s Bison (or Vega if you are playing the original Street Fighter II) or someone less aggressive, but the ominous bass riff paired with a floor tom beat is less than ambiguous: this is the end. The explosion comes in waves, fades away and comes again, like the aftershocks of an earthquake. It’s unforgiving and utterly brutal and even if the whole album is just 33 minutes, you do feel depleted of energy, with the final grind of the notes slowing down with machine precision being the final goodbye.
I can’t think anything else to say about this album but: ethereal blue ghosts fading in and out of existence. Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister delivers a heavy EP with enough musical chops to get the attention of someone peckish for some brutal rock.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López