Most of the time, when first introduced to a band, most of us can somehow formulate a pretty accurate mental vision of what the tunes will sound like, based on that band’s name alone. For instance, I’m assuming it’s a fairly safe bet that when you first heard the name Cannibal Corpse…the chances are highly likely that the idea of a blood-and-guts, wear-your-face-as-a-mask, raging death metal band entered the thought process at some point. It’s like, when most of the general population hears the word “Satan”, they most likely form a connection with that word to evil incarnate…or at least a little red dude running around with horns and a tail, influencing everyone from the neighbor’s kid to Judas Priest to do his bidding. But then again, we should never, ever forget that age-old saying that is overflowing with wisdom: “Don’t judge a book by its goddamn cover.”. A prime example would be the first time I caught the spazzed-out Chicago grind quartet known as Weekend Nachos at the 2008 Dudefest in Indianapolis, Indiana. My first thought was that they were going to fall somewhere within the realm of an upbeat pop punk type of thing. But alas, I was gravely mistaken and I was, for once, one-hundred percent pleased to find out I was wrong.
With their latest full-length effort, Worthless (Relapse Records), Weekend Nachos once again succeed in squashing any and all misconceptions about the band that those new to the rage may form in their brains. Unleashing a lethal dose of equal parts old-school, fist-to-the-face hardcore and a ravenous grind approach the record is swift, relentless and built like a tank. Opening number, “Hometown Hero” seethes with Discharge-esque riffs and the kind of raw-throated vocals that would make you swear on your life that Cujo is in the room, ready to rule the crowd. The song gives a suiting glimpse of what lies ahead for the listener, in that it is simultaneously gritty and punishing as well as clear in production. The blisteringly-fast double team of “Black Earth” and “For Life” both turn up the heat to inferno levels, and “Old Friends Don’t Mean Shit” (which clocks in at forty seconds) is no different. As a form of intermission in the madness, numbers like the title track and closing number/longest song of the record “Future” offer up a more atmospheric, sludge-inspired approach with drone and drawn-out feedback intact. Meanwhile, “Jock Powerviolence” serves up some angry, bruising hardcore that is clearly unwelcoming of the weak-willed. Vocals trade off from low bark to a raw scream-and-yell, unveiling more variety in that aspect throughout much of Worthless.
Like I mentioned before, the first time I caught this band live was truly a spectacle to behold. Swift and violent in their performance at Dudefest that day, Weekend Nachos are the kind of band that can capture their live aggression and emotional content in a nearly perfect sense when it comes to studio recordings. Worthless is just as fast and merciless as I remember my introduction to the band’s work. As I lay these words down, I’ve listened to the monster at least three times, consecutively. If you call yourself a fan of grindcore hell-raisers like Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Rotten Sound or maybe even Denver maniacs Cephalic Carnage, and you have yet to give Weekend Nachos a chance…this record should find a valuable spot in your collection!