Located next to a tattoo parlor, across the street from another tattoo parlor, and just around the corner from Atlanta’s infamous Clermont Lounge is the venue The Drunken Unicorn. The Drunken Unicorn is perhaps the city’s best spot for up & coming metal acts and also the perfect pick for hometown boys whores. to kick off their 25+ city summer tour.
To see an act that made countless Top 10 metal lists for their 2016 album Gold (including Rolling Stone) in a room that can barely hold 100 people is a rare treat; however the room was at capacity to the point where I was unable to move around to capture photographs from various angles. whores. are so much more than noise-rockers wanting to box your ears, they are consummate professional musicians devoted to their craft. They are not noise for the sake of noise; their sound, while chaotic to the point of insanity, is perfectly crafted – every buzz, click, and screech is placed and purposeful.
I will be honest, I was dragging my feet to this show on a late Friday night after a particularly long week. I was tired and grumpy when whores. took that stage nearing 11:30 at night. Their sound immediately exorcised the week from my soul; like a defibrillator, I felt the shock from their power blast my heart and re-energize me completely. The band itself also seemed to be having the time of their lives and never take themselves too seriously; tenacious front-man and guitarist Christian Lembach was wild-eyed and bombastic like a more sincere Iggy Pop, bassist Casey Maxwell was merely a blur of long brown hair, and I swear Donnie Adkinson’s drums moved 3 feet over the course of the show. This band is a fallen power-line; whipping around and spraying sparks dangerously intolerant of whatever poor creature might get in its way.
This trio has the power of a quintet and more; they rarely settle down, even between songs, constantly moving about the stage to the point where I couldn’t get a clear photograph of any of them; like an hyperactive child on a sugar high. They start like a bullet from a gun and by the end of their first song all three members were drenched in sweat. They rarely spoke and as soon as one song ended they were pounding you with another. This is one of the hardest working bands I have ever seen live. There is no filler, no banter, I don’t think there was even a “hello.” They got on stage, walloped you with raw energy, and then they were done with a humble, “Thank you so much.”
Particularly interesting was how mesmerized the crowd was by their performance. Everyone was wholly and completely entranced by the band, there was little pushing, moshing, or surfing; everyone seemed transfixed at the talent and power of the band. One moment I would see someone staring to get something going and the next that same person would be frozen, mouth agape, towards the stage. I was so floored that I completely forgot that I was there to report on the band, I was just a fan. whores. is genre-less and undefinable; they are more than noise, more than metal, more than punk. There is nothing like whores.