What's worse than Worser? Lots of stuff, because Worser is way better than just okay. This six-song EP shows some serious prog-rock tendencies polyrhythmic timing changes, irregular tuning, unconventional chord progressions, and meandering melodies but the fat guitar riffs and roiling bass lines give the band a burly sound more akin to contemporaries Helmet and Dillinger Escape Plan than the artsy licks of prog pioneers King Crimson and Yes. And only one song here ("After") contains keyboards. Nope, even when they're stalking our ears with drunken war drums and outer-space wails (as in "No Thanks, Apocalypse Later?"), Worser opts for a solid rock foundation, layering on the screaming six-string solos and including verses and choruses. The most avant-garde tune here is probably the instrumental "Sword Store for Samurai," which bounces with rhythms that sound like The Jesus Lizard losing its tail to The Melvins while Adrian Belew's broken guitar blurts out protests. The EP ends with a song called "Out of a Can," which sounds anything but. The primary rhythm on the choruses comes from a high-hat, its lyrical influence imitates emo, and its spiraling guitar progressions mimic nü-metal. With a puzzling but powerful mix like this, we can only hope the world gets more Worser.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.