Moustache Of Sorrow
Nestled comfortably between Deftones’ Adrenaline and Incubus’ S.C.I.E.N.C.E. lies RP Wigs’ debut album, Moustache Of Sorrow. The album is heavy without being overbearing, melodic with just enough edge to keep it dangerous and adventurous enough to keep me from deftly applying the “run of the mill nu-metal” tag and not thinking twice about it.
The twin guitar assault of Chris Johnson and Cory Johnston provides a thick sonic wall for the rest of the band to work from. Think of it like a blank canvas. Landon Hapner’s skinwork is ever changing and driving, moving the material into places I wouldn’t have guessed possible from the beginning of each song. When the bass can be heard (it does get lost in some of the heavier passages) D.J. Riley’s work is fluid and elastic, as if he’s playing a giant rubber band. Which brings me to vocalist Korey Zehr. Clearly influenced by Brandon Boyd, Chino Moreno, Mike Patton, Serj Tankian and some sparse ragga, Zehr is a perfect fit for the instrumentalists backing him. He’s most effective when belting out the fine melodies, less so when getting in that occasional Phil Anselmo scream.
Most bands heavily influenced by Deftones tend to provide material that straight-up mimics the critical darlings, yet RP Wigs add enough of their own sauce to the mix to make it their own. Album opener “Swing” hits hard, announcing the band and providing a blueprint for what is to come. Highlights include “Unitard Love,” “Tears Of Odin” and “Unibrow In The Sky.” The band seems at its peak when it dials back and lets the atmosphere take control, like on the album’s finest moment “Graydius.”
RP Wigs’ Moustache Of Sorrow is one of the better locally released heavy alternative rock releases. So many times these things go horribly wrong, but Moustache Of Sorrow is a stark exception. The album is available at Wooden Nickel Music Stores. (Z.B. Smith)