Having wetted appetites earlier in the year by dangling debut E.P Broken Teeth in front of a palpably voracious press and listener contingent, the nine track full length will surely induce a rabid foaming at the mouth of those whose satisfaction can only be abetted by rock of the most deprived and alcohol fuelled order. Entitled simply Wet Nuns– a somewhat sensible decisions considering potential titles included the likes of “Happy Girthday”, the record is pure unbridled man-rock encapsulating everyone’s favourite bleary-eyed stonerisms delivered with rage fuelled by an almost permanent state of inebriation.
Yet on first listen it appears Wet Nuns are emphatically more multi-dimensional than you would expect from a two-piece carrying an intent to end every gig in a state of physical tumult, every pore emitting sweat, body and instrument united in an exhausted heap. Subtlety and dynamism has found its way into the picture, resulting in such trudging brilliance as ‘Only Sometimes’, the intro of which saunters in measured and affecting introspection. It’s the closest Wet Nuns may ever come to penning anything resembling a ballad, yet it maintains their penchant for debauchery, although in this instance it is delivered through a melancholy haze of melodic slide guitar that could provide the soundtrack to a more downbeat moment from a Robert Rodriguez Mexican back-alley shoot-em’-up. Whilst ‘Only Sometimes’ provides a sort of morning after tale of regret and hindsight realisations, the remaining tracks exist very much in the moment of hedonistic excesses. Carried over from their eponymous E.P, ‘Broken Teeth’ is a full on slab of amphetamine induced stoner rock- the opening lyrical salvo of “I live my life with a taste of blood in my mouth” says more about the band’s outlook than any overwrought description could hope to convey.
Riffs addicts will find plenty to latch onto here, Josh Homme’s gnarly Kyuss grooves rekindled and laid down with substantially more vigour than the QOTSA man could ever hope to muster whilst the sloth-paced doom of Sleep is tangible in moments such as the closing death throes of ‘Hanging’. Meanwhile, drums exude a cymbal smashing glory, the kit treated as disposable after being submitted to continued hammer blows.
‘Heavens Below’ sees vocals at their most grizzly, the Arizona via Sheffield drawl peppered with the gravel-throated ravings that speak of countless Marlboro Reds and extended whiskey sessions leaving a suitably rough-hewn texture to every vocal delivery that makes poor old Rod Stewart’s characteristic voice seem angelic in comparison.
As the extended blues jam ‘No Money Blues’ meanders its way through the most sultry of bluesy dirges its pretty clear, even through the omnipresent haze of cigarette smoke, that Wet Nuns have done a bloody good job. Wet Nuns could quite easily have been a record of titillation, nine tracks of red-eyed and adrenaline fuelled rawk, a quick yet ultimately unfulfilling fix. Yet by broadening their palette towards explorations in dynamics, no easy task for a guitar & drum two-piece, Wet Nuns resonates with deeper emotion than base level tales of drug-addled excess over no-holds-barred riffage. It’s scuzzy blues rock at its finest, rabid and well-rounded. Delicious stuff.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!