Widows featured as a Band of the Day recently, so for more background on the Nottingham stoner punks, you can head over there. Here we get a seven-track blast to find out exactly what the hell “stoner punk” actually sounds like…
Well, first off it’s heavy. I mean really heavy. It’s also nicely varied. With guitars tuned down to near-Conan levels, this foursome know how to get the windows rattling. However, where the sludgier bands go for an overwhelming wall of vibration, the stoner leagues maintain some harmony and Widows throw around some great, bouncy riffs.
The pace of the music is all over the place from song to song and I think this is the punk influence, which really adds something to what could otherwise be a slow, if heady-noddy affair. Opener and title track “Oh Deer God” is the kind of song you can bounce up and down to, and runs for almost six minutes. It’s followed by an absolute hurricane of a track, “Caffeine and Hatred”, that owes more to Slayer than Monster Magnet.
These two, hugely different, tracks really set the tone for the album as a whole. Oh Deer God hits so many sweet spots, it almost feels like a compilation album. Catchy, heavy, shredding, thrashy, groovy, mellow… all in different places, yet all by the same band. However, despite all this, the overall sound throughout is very much Widow’s own.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I first put the album on, but once my ears had become used to the grumbling tones the whole thing grew on me rather rapidly. It’s hard to pick highlights with the songs being such an eclectic mix, but I’m drawn to the widdly intro to “Baron Greenback Blues” (as well as its title), which kicks off probably the track most deserving of the epithet “a belter”.
Oh Deer God won’t be for everyone, but it will be for more people than I think the band realise. By adding that punk edge they’ve opened the stoner genre up to a new audience.
Oh Deer God is out on April 14th on various formats via Widows’ Bandcamp page.
Widows are playing some live dates this month, too:
- 08/04 – Rebellion Bar, Manchester (w/Alunah & Pig Witch)
- 14/04 – Rough Trade, Nottingham (Album Launch)
- 15/04 – Gorilla Studios, Hull (w/Mastiff, Sound of Orion & Sinners Sermon)