Wailin Storms - One Foot in the Flesh Grave 02One Foot in the Flesh Grave‘s take on doom punk and swamp rock is just the kind of experience I was hoping for. Formed in the cruel, unrelenting heat of Corpus Christi (Texas), Wailin Storms must have quickly realized that to stand out, their sound needed more than just the country and rockabilly twang they were being exposed to. Before their first album became a twinkle in their eye, they’d already packed up and moved Eastward, to settle in Durham, North Carolina, a well-known center for country, indie, metal and punk. It was a move well made as you’ll hear.

Right as you begin to listen to One Foot in the Flesh Grave it becomes obvious where Wailin Storm‘s primary influence comes from – Danzig‘s “She Rides.” Wailin Storms haven’t copied the track by any means. Instead they’ve crafted and expanded on a sound previously unique to Danzig to deliver 33 minutes of drugged out, bluesy heavy metal. It’s loaded with “what you see is what you get” attitude that feels familiar but at the same time comes across as brand-spanking-new. Justin Storms’ vocals are the big highlight. Remember Danzig’s Elvis meets Johnny Cash-like charisma? Remember his loud, raucous, rambunctious presence? Well, Justin Storms delivers that same kind of revelry and he does it very very well [And he even wears a shirt sometimes!Steel Druhm]!

Musically the tracks are an odd journey and it’s tough to lump them into definitive categories. They all have that base element of what you loved about Danzig but there’s more, a whole lot more. “Don’t Forget the Sun” is spiked with the twang of 16 Horsepower alongside hints that you’ve done a bad thing, bringing to mind musicians like Chris Isaak and Jace Everett. Moments of the track feel like fingers curling around your throat, the atmosphere is harrowing and the ambiance brings to mind the struggle of American experimental darkwave musician David Galas. Find that hard to imagine? Keep listening. “Ribcage Fireplace” could have been named by Monster Magnet and musically I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they collaborated on the track (along with “Lost”).

Justin Storms (guitars), Steve Stanczyk (bass) and Todd Warner (lead guitar) operate like a well-oiled machine. The crew’s riff-work in “Ribcage Fireplace” is the heartbeat of the song, monstrous, heavy and reverberating, the perfect accompaniment to Mark Oates (of Bats & Mice fame) as he pounds out his oddly timed, but very hammered-out drum lines. At times Mark’s efforts remind me of those of the hard rocker Benny Horowitz of Gaslight Anthem mixed with some of Jean-Yves Tola’s 16 Horsepower quirk. “Mystery Girl” does a screaming about-turn, veering quite deliberately down the garage rock path carved out by Green Day‘s side project the Foxboro Hot Tubs on their release Stop Drop and Roll!!!.

Wailin Storms - One Foot in the Flesh Grave 01

By now you’ve hit the midpoint of the album and it’s not losing momentum. Not. One. Bit. “Walk” takes on some Alice in Chains, Dirt era with a very slight element of Foo Fighters in play in the background. It’s an strange number and were I to describe it with images, I would have to liken it to the surrealism of Twin Peaks. “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” and “German Fur Tails” again feel as though Monster Magnet was responsible for naming them. They probably sound the closest to being pure and undiluted Danzig. Wailin Storms throw in lock stock and two smoking barrels ending the album on what can only be described as a high note. The tracks contain what is Mark Oates’ fiercest drum-work, and riffing that’s so rough, catchy and uncomplicated the rowdiness stays with you long after the tunes end.

Overall, the production plays to the strengths of One Foot in the Flesh Grave and just like Danzig, Justin Storms has so much charisma you can’t help but want to hear everything he sings, yells and warbles. And warble excessively he does. I’m having a lot of difficulty finding a reason not to keep spinning this album or finding fault with it. Wailin Storms have cooked up something oddly dark and tricksy with One Foot in the Flesh Grave. It’s a bit like meth – lots of replay value, and leaves you wanting much much more [You’re going on extended leave.Steel].


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Magic Bullet Records
Websites: wailinstorms.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/wailinstorms
Releases Worldwide: November 20th, 2015

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  • Danzig should sue these guys then join with them. It would be wise, my friend.

    • This plan gets my vote!

      • Heifer Madness

        I dunno, I think Mr. Danzig should probably call it a day. He needs to give it a rest, and let his legacy breathe, what’s left of it he hasn’t manage to sully.
        Bands like this will do just fine without him, and have a lot to add without being shackled to a Danzig comparison.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Don´t you think he could join them without suing them? Nothing good ever comes out of having lawyers involved.

      • As a lawyer, I don’t support any joining without extensive litigation first.

        • You wot m8?

          I knew there was something fishy about you…

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I didn’t know you were a lawyer… you seemed like a decent person.

          • Don’t slander me like that, it will hurt my practice!

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Sue me!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Surely he’s more of a Daredevil lawyer than a Saul Goodman lawyer.

        • Metal Lawyers Unite!

  • Heifer Madness

    Oh hell yes. 16 Horsepower has been one of my favorite bands for forever, and that’s a spot on comparison for Wailin Storms. I’m sold, this album is amazing.
    Thank you, AMG and Madam X. Thank you.

    • Glad it’s reaching its audience! :)

    • Name’s Dalton

      This is good but ASG is better, especially their Relapse release Blood Drive.

      • Heifer Madness

        I really don’t know what they have in common. ASG is very poppy, and aside from having a slightly slower, sludgier production, is fairly straightforward alternative punk, and this is much darker, more unhinged, and western-influenced.

  • There are moments where he does sound a little like Danzig but mostly the vocalist sounds like Jon Crosby from VAST. But in any case everyone loves a bit of rockabilly in a vocalist. Now if they could only get Daughn Gibson to do an album like this, then we’d be set.

    • I’m not aware of Vast. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to check them out.

      • I haven’t listened to a VAST album since their second one which I didn’t care for. But I think the debut was pretty great. It had a one hit wonder on it at least for where I lived back in 1998 in the song “Touched” but I thought the album as a whole was pretty solid.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I’m not familiar with VAST, but I’m getting a bit of a Doors vibe, at least on the opening track.

      • Can’t have a Doors vibe without a Black Keys vibe. Can’t have a Black Keys vibe without a…

        No. No I won’t be a part of this.

  • Wilhelm

    This is super good. Thank you!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    The vocals sure have a Danzig like delivery, but not quite there in terms of depth. Kind of like Glenn Danzig would have sounded like before his balls dropped.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Why is it I think Danzig’s balls dropped when he was around 8?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Well, he sings about making love with a dark haired girl to the howls of the wolves at the age of five… So maybe his balls dropped before he was 8.

  • You wot m8?

    Out of all the bands referenced in this review, I have heard of exactly zero of them. If they’re as good as this, I’ll have to check them out.

    • This might actually be my favorite comment. Hope at least one of them catches your ear :)

    • You bastard. You had never heard of Danzig? And I thought we were in a prog band together. You’re out till you learn how to play a spork version of “Mother”.

  • Scourge

    Apparently down here in TexAss we’re only exposed to country music and rockabilly, hyuck hyuck

    • Aaw shucks you mean Google lied to me??

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Love that embedded track, but wtf is up with that artwork? Is that testicles with eyes on them?

    • Monsterth Goatom

      More like a microscopic view of something that emerges from said organ.

      • Siege Bantayan

        What was seen cannot be unseen.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      We get naked women on covers all the time. What’s wrong with some testes once in a while?

  • AnnieK13

    Really like this track – going to have to check out the rest.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    This is good! Also reminds of Gun Club and Flesh Eaters a little bit, especially Mystery Girl.

  • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

    I’ve just finished the first spin of this record and I have to admit that I was skeptical, to say the least, because this kind of music is not in my comfort zone…
    Right now, I’m impressed with the album, how has dragged me into it and how spot on the review was. YAY.

    • Glad you took a chance and gave it a spin!

  • Worldeater

    Better late than never: saw it, heard it, bought it!

  • Wow. This is so good. Danzig meets 16 Horsepower is a perfect description. They are two of my favorite bands so the combination is mind-blowing.