By James Olson
Taking their name from a murderous character as depicted in Michael Mann’s crime thriller Heat, Waingro frighten and excite on their first full-length album. In an interview with Red On Black Music, vocalist/guitarist Brian Sepanzyk said he drew from the unstable and volatile nature of the Waingro character, a detail which is greatly reflected in the seething anger expressed throughout the album. Sepanzyk’s intimidating bark is a unique counterpoint to the stoner/desert rock riffage that Waingro heap upon the listener. Think Queens of the Stone Age but with Nick Oliveri fully supplanting Josh Homme on the mike.
The hardcore/punk elements that seep into Waingro’s sound help to separate from the usual Sabbath worship that tends to dominate the stoner and desert rock sub genres. Sepanzyk’s guitar work may be leaden with Iommi-isms and the jazzy bustle of Bill Ward can be heard in drummer Benji Nesdoly’s playing, but Waingro are not the sum of their parts. “Tailwind” sees the band power through a charging punky first half before descending into a sludgy breakdown at speeds that wouldn’t be out of place on a hardcore release. Sepanzyk’s threatens to scream himself hoarse on the bludgeoning final track “True North,” another song that feels much more punk than the instrumentation suggests. Waingro are a different beast than their familiar hidewould indicate. A creature capable of surviving the sweltering Palm Desert and the harsh Canadian winter.Waingro