In German, “Warmduscher” is a slang word translated as “warm shower-taker” – basically, a wimp, or someone afraid to step out of their comfort zone. That bit of context makes it a laughable misnomer for the increasingly badass UK punk outfit who’ve claimed it. London-based Warmduscher’s red-hot sound – particularly on their adrenalized second album Whale City, released this month – is anything but wimpy, and really a blast to take in. The fast and fiery 11-song record is a sandstorm of gritty riffs topped off with an ominous and sultry plot, the full experience akin to poring over a forbidden comic book with a flashlight under the covers. First coming together as an impromptu band for a New Year’s Eve 2014 house party, Warmduscher is currently made up of members of Fat White Family, Paranoid London, and Childhood, and they seem to have artfully borrowed some of the grooviest and gnarliest elements from each group.
Their amusingly alias-laden lineup currently includes Clams Baker Jr. (Craig Louis Higgins Jr., aka Mutado Pintado), Lightnin’ Jack Everett (Jack Everett), The Saulcano (Saul Adamczewski), Mr. Salt Fingers Lovecraft (Ben Romans-Hopcraft) and The Witherer aka Little Whiskers (Quinn Whalley) – and each member brings their own school of musical alchemy into the final mix. Featuring flinty, cool-headed narrations that sound like something right out of Sin City and serve as elegant transitions between the thrashy tracks (“Bright Lights,” “No Way Out,” and “The Beginning”), Whale City earns its place as a start-to-finish kind of LP, with slick sequences of songs best enjoyed in succession. While their 2015 debut album, Khaki Tears, was an almost inextricable jam session with just the earliest embers of their current sound (and more grunts and fuzz than fully-formed ideas), 2018’s Whale City speeds ahead at 150 mph and does a few donuts on the highway.
Warmduscher’s range is impressive even in the first three big songs, as the getaway-rock riffs of “Standing on the Corner” morph into the rollicking “Big Wilma” and the bluesy “1000 Whispers,” brimming with surprises all the way to the album’s beachy closing track, “Summertime Tears.” Among its many high points, “The Sweet Smell of Florida” isn’t just a flawless song title, but the actual vibe they’ve cooked up in the muggy track, which somehow achieves the precise feeling of riding a roller coaster through mosquitoes near a lake full of alligators. Whale City is a highly-moshable trip that will have you picking favorite songs before you’ve even reached the awesome “I Got Friends,” an under-two-minute rager – featuring lyrics like “I know a man who can make you disappear in 7 different countries, that’s right!” – that precedes the fattest/whitest jam, titular freak-out, “Whale City.” Their classic-punk interjections of “Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!” make you want to run around punching things in the best way possible, as does the entire record (as good punk should).
Article: Olivia Isenhart