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Armed with a wall of guitars and the intriguing voice of Stella Katsouda’s Chicago’s Whorse surface with 10 morsels of driving rock delight. Joining Stella are drummer Jeff Hanes, bassist Ben Rowley and guitarist Damon Williams, together they give the Windy City an edge on the alt-rock market. Some may remember Katsoudas as leading Sister Soleil and later Stella Soleil the campy pop/soul outfit that released “Dirty Little Secret” on Universal in 2001. Far more pissed off this time around Stella puts her anger to good use in the riff heavy “Call Me Out”, “Half Human” and the infectious “Pavement”.

Hard rock works for Stella, having worked with both Chemlab and Ministry the direction of Whorse fits. Her punked up attitude translates well especially with the Nine Inch Nail-like working of America’s “Horse With No Name”. Yet, their originals hold up just as well. “Saliva” mixes up a mood twist and tempo change that carries over into the hypnotic “Sapharine”. Rowley’s funky bass gives “Undertow” a subtle groove that moves the song into Blondie territory. “Hearts Ease” is the records stand out track – haunting with Stella’s frailty building strength and momentum over Williams driving guitar.

“Tragedy” puts the spotlight on Hanes’ solid power drumming with the cymbal crash in all the right places - a compelling song to say the least and a showcase for Stella. The rhythm guitar that leads into “5 Days” sets up a misleading trap that snaps when bass and drums converge on the chorus. The rage of life’s counterpunch is well captured with emotion and efficiency. Well done.

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  • cocolemonade

    anyone else detect similarity with colt/living with eating disorders? in terms of sound and lyrical themes...

    26 Mar 4:57pm Reply