Fueled by a passion for stoner rock and punk; Brian Sepanzyk (guitars/vocals), Benjie Nesdoly (drums) and Nate Pennell (bass/backing vocals) took the heaviness of hardcore, the groove from stoner rock and then added subtle desert rock highlights to work on what would come to be known as Waingro.
The experienced musicians have honed their craft in several other bands over the years, but it wasn’t until they formed Waingro that they were truly able to explore their talents in the abrasive desert rock band. While their earlier material can be considered stoner hardcore with releases Self Titled (2014) and Mt. Hood (2015); Waingro adds a grunge edge with their upcoming album ‘III’ due out August 15, 2019, its UK vinyl and worldwide digital release via Sludgelord Records and its Canadian vinyl release on September 13, 2019, via No List Records.
Playing out of their skins here, Waingro’s brand of heavy rock is deliciously rough and tough. Fusing the dusty winds of the desert with a little bit of metal fire into a mostly fast and frantic album, III is an unforgettable listen.
A lot of that can be laid at the feet of the guitar groove that really takes hold and pulls away at the neck muscles. There will be very few people not bouncing around when New Colony and Red Death come a-knockin. Although the latter of the two gets dirtier and dirtier as it reaches it climax.
Fear not, the feel-good groove isn’t gone as Bay Area Cult flings the riffs around with complete abandon all while the punky snarl of the vocals spray out.
Third Veil is the first track to really take us down to the depths, reaching sludgier lows with that inimitable Waingro stoner style. It’s slower and way darker but bloody hell, is it good. So much so that when it abruptly ends and the pace quickens for Merrin, there’s just a little bit of disappointment. No need though as it is another banger, albeit one that has a little more chaos to its rawness.
Marked Cross’ fuzzy riffing immediately snaps Waingro back into shape before a super clean guitar solo rings out as a reminder of just how damn rocking these guys are. A fiery finish is then matched by the sharpness of feedback and a hyperactive rhythm in Dead Calm.
It’s such a great album with so many twists and turns that at this stage it can safely be called a must listen. Baring an abrupt turn that sees the band drop all their instruments in favour of bagpipes and nothing else.
Of course that’s not the case. Instead we get another bunch of exciting, body shaking and bone rattling tracks in the form of The Upward Turn, Pacino and Monaco. The latter is easily one of the more fascinating tracks on the album as it sees Waingro having what seems like a jam session between the guitars and drums leading to them fading away. An ominous effect buzzes leading to the rhythm building back up but only briefly before it fades away again. So very unusual.
Finally, to send everyone away happy we get Greenwater Manifesto, a grubby sounding number. The bass booms and the drums (which have been consistently excellent throughout) hammer an exclamation point of the riffs. Followed by Cardinal, an off-beat closer, that keeps the groove at a slower more doomy pace until it reaches the halfway point.
Can you guess what we then get? Hold on to your hat, beer, hair…whatever because it’s a wild finish. Love it.
Waingro – III Full Track Listing:
1. New Colony
2. Red Death
3. Bay Area Cult
4. Third Veil
6. Marked Cross
7. Dead Calm
8. The Upward Turn
11. Greenwater Manifesto
Waingro - III (Sludgelord Records/No List Records)