Empty Fortress by WØDS is the second release from 14th Floor Music in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Heatwave Magazine. It’s part of a series of releases that celebrate unsigned bands.

‘EMPTY FORTRESS’ is the kind of track that harks back to late-80s punk, and the angular fury born out of angst, unemployment and political unrest. Rasping bass lines grind, atonal guitar riffs jerk and spasm and urgent, angry vocals are fired out across relentless drums pushing 200 BPM. Their anger is palpable and the nihilistic extract below is from the band’s PR release:

As the World gets beaten beyond salvation, we witness mankind’s finest hour as Materialist Society substantiates a relentless self-inflicted pandemic backed by irreversible environmental wreckage. In short, The Modern World is on the decline of inevitable self – destruction. Society enforces that all stand idly waiting by in torment as time seems to pass evermore slowly with each day. Choosing to do so means absolute self-humiliation. THE ONLY WAY OUT IS OUT – WØDS means active isolation to worship oneself and denounce society

Within the first 30 seconds of ‘PLEASE KILL ME’ I can feel the heat of a venue and the sudden surge of an audience as I am pushed, pulled and nearly lifted off my feet and I can smell the cheap lager I anticipate being covered in by the end of the gig. This is a 2’40” blitzkrieg; relentless, punishing and totally exhilarating. If someone wants to power a large compound they should put WØDS on the same bill as Girls In Synthesis and you would get a year’s worth of sweaty, renewable energy.

‘Empty Fortress’ is out on the NO FRONT TEETH label, who will also be releasing this as a 7”, and the band are currently putting together a forthcoming, eight-track, 10” release although given the amount of sound they produce they might struggle to contain their music on a 48” record.

Joyzine has also heard two short, punchy demos, ‘Open Wide’ and ‘TRASH TALK’, from Detroit and the Gobblers, “a quartet from the butthole of Essex”. They might be demos, but they bristle with the kind of raw energy that would have an audience airborne for most of the night. I can’t wait to hear the EP the band are currently working on, slated for release in 2022.

WØDS socials: Instagram | Facebook | Bandcamp

Review by Paul F Cook

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