REVIEW: Wet Lungs – “Vile Hobbies” EP

God bless Gabe Serbian.

While some members of San Diego grind-core legends The Locust are taking an indefinite break while the populace waits for Plague Soundscapes 2, Serbian moved to Austin and formed a trio with members of The Roller that rocks almost as hard as his resume suggests it would.

What can be said of the trio Wet Lungs, which is releasing its debut EP, Vile Hobbies, on San Diego’sThree.One.G online only on Dec. 2? Well, like The Locust, they’re pretty pissed off and they’re not hesitant to let you know about it. Pissed off isn’t the right choice of words, actually. They’re too explosive for words, like a grenade planted in your palm a second before detonation. They strike with intent to kill.

Guitarist Pete Brown’s got a sludge-grind attack that fits well with drummer Serbian’s precise but furious syncopation. And vocalist Mike Morowitz barks and growls in full-on metal and hard-core tradition. If his lyrics are as socio-politically loaded as The Locust’s, I couldn’t tell. All I heard was a goddamned exorcism.

Naming your band after respiratory distress leading to hospitalization, not to mention the cover art, is one thing. (Well, two really.) But these guys turn up the cringe factor to 11, recklessly thrashing away on “Space Garbage,” the first single, as much as they rage over slightly more subtle delayed-guitars on “Drug Skeleton” or the catchy, angular “Stay Bent.” (The title of “Near Meth Experience” is the only moment on the disc that will make you smile.) Let’s get this straight, though: this is not a record with fine edges or subtle nuances. It’s more cataclysmic than anything.

Want more words in this review? Find another band, buddy. Wet Lung’s cool, new EP, clocking in well under 10 minutes, contains seven songs, the longest of which runs 1:33. You’ll finish listening to it faster than you read this review. And that’s the point.

It’s a furious blast, an explosion, a quick stab to the chest followed by a get-away. The album-closer (and title track) runs seven seconds long, but it grabs you by the throat and won’t let go the whole time. Yeah, damn right Naked City would be proud. – Popdose, Nov. 19, 2014


About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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