Monday, February 9, 2015

War Hungry : The 10 Best Songs (A Biased and Subjective Discussion)

Illustration: Dylan Chadwick.  A failed War Hungry shirt design
Whether I knew it at the time or not, War Hungry blew onto the scene with everything I wanted in a band. Great riffs culled distinctly from legit heavy metal, without being all corny or self-referential like some dumb Southern Lord beard band. I'm remarkably easy to please.

 "Riffs is riffs" as they say, and whether hardcore, metal or some other shit, them's far more important than a band's mosh quotient. I hate quoting Stigma so much (do I?), but I'd say each one of these selections speaks for itself.

 Stay tuned for the forthcoming "biased and subjective anecdotes on War Hungry" blog feat:

  •  The unfortunate time I bugged them (via snail mail) to let me do a shirt graphic for them
  •  The claim that their name is a reference to Lord of the Rings
  • Pics and recollections of the time I saw them cover Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" for 8 seconds
  • My favorite War Hungry shirt ever


Here are my top 10 Wungy tracks ever. No particular order (except chronologically), these are all bangers. Feel free to write to me and tell me I'm wrong for not including _____. (You can't). 



2004 Demo Tape
1. Plain Pine Box
Here's some titular greatness with a death obsession, i.e., the hardest TITLE of any War Hungry track period. Many riff changes here, but this author's fav comes at 1:20. 

2. Concrete Jungle 
Check out 0:23 when the riff gets just a little spacey. Peace to any band that can work in this many time n' tempo changes and without to twitchy Level-Plane records bullshit. Was working a Guns n' Roses lyric into the chorus a good decision, or a great decision?    

War is In demo tape

3. Echoes 
The beatdown riff that just keeps giving. When the rhythm section drops in at 0:30, this cut jumps from "heavy AF" to "hold up, that bassline...." Try and listen just a-once bucky. You cain't.  

Divine/Demonic 7"
4. Labors of Hercules
I once read this was Hoodrack's favorite song to play live, but this was from a blog posted a few years before the LP. I only saw them twice, but they opened with it both times. "Double DEAL-ARR!" Peace to tracks that stay hard even as they're fading out.


5. Beg & Plead
Heavy as hell (but that's a good thing) but pretty standard HC meat n' taters rockin...til 1:30 that is. The track slows to a GD crawl, and the sinewy riffing that unfolds around it must be experienced aurally to be adequately comprehended. 


Return to Earth EP


6. Master of Mankind 
Return to Earth (and most 1917 releases) already seem to be overlooked by contemporary core history. Methinks it's because of Guns Up or because the vocals got awful "Weiland-y" here. Was this that era when hardcore dudes were trying to get into Velvet Revolver? Not sure, but I still dug every track. It even edged out "Tip Your Scale" for containing the lyric "my friends are wicked and worthless" and the riff that kicks in directly after. 



  
Cold World/War Hungry split

7. Final Hour
From the "good side of the Cold World split" comes the band's most satisfying song. "Send me all your horsemen, make me believe," "send me your wrath, I pity your weak" and that piano and that riff. Oh, that riff. (1:25 if u real). 


Bad Seed/War Hungry Split

8. Empire of Idols Though the song did appear on the S/T LP, my fav is the recording which appeared on the Bad Seed split. It showcased that cool Danzig approach to singing, but also that ultra freaky fade out sample which prompted a heated debate with my family. Is it the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? They say yes. I say maybe. 

S/T LP 

9. Broken on the Wheel 
Lordy, when this LP dropped I wouldn't shut up about it. I even begged the staff at the magazine who employed me to let me write about it. The song summed up everything I loved about the band, including their awesome new gee-tar lineup, in just under 3 minutes. Note that little bit of groove, otherworldly soloing and the most insane vocal reverb of 2011 IMO.  




10. Shift  Yes it's a hardass track. Let's talk about the keyboard/Stone Temple Pilots "Wicked Garden" groove that goes down at 1:30. No wimps, please. 



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