Show Reviews


  • Axl Rosenberg


Incredibly unprofessional photo courtesy my iPhone and PBR.

Rarely have I felt as close to a room full of mostly strangers as I did at Wormrot‘s first show of their U.S. tour this past Sunday evening at the Bowery Electric. As you’ve probably heard, the band missed the first few dates of the tour due to visa issues, and almost didn’t make it to the States at all; once it became clear that they were going to make it across the ocean, the promoters of this bill — which also included Evoken and Wizardy, both of whom are worth checking out if you’ve yet to do so — were able to slide Wormrot in at the last minute. This combination of “Awesome Cinderella story band from Singapore almost didn’t make it and then did and scheduled this show at literally the last possible moment” made the entire thing feel that much more special, and the fans in attendance behaved accordingly.

And for their part, Wormrot lived up to the anticipation. I think the gig lasted about thirty minutes, which is ten minutes longer than Wormrot’s deserving-of-the-hype Abuse, and twenty minutes longer than most grind bands will ever play in their career. They did all or most of Abuse, including their already infamous cover of “Rich” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even squeezed in some new material. Live, the band sounds even larger than they do on Abuse; Rasyid’s guitar tone strikes me as being a lot fuzzier and warmer than your average grind guitarist, which might account for some of the music’s size, or maybe just explains why everyone loves this band so friggin’ much — relative to other grind, this grind is easy on the ears. Drummer Fitri is a helluva lotta fun to watch; his eyes are perpetually wide and his mouth is always agape, as though he’s constantly surprised by what he’s playing; sometimes he shakes his head back and forth at an incredibly rapid speed, too, like he’s trying to shake it off. Vocalist Arif can scream his guts out with the best of ’em, but I think I was most impressed by the fact that he grasped sarcasm really well for a dude whose first language is not English; after Rasyid and Fitri goofed the start of one song, Arif quickly commented “Okay very good!” He’s naturally charismatic, a born front man.

And like I said, the crowd went nuts — the Bowery Electric only holds 108 people, but it was pretty full. And it couldn’t really have been any fuller, because four or five dudes made a pretty gnarly pit for such a small room; our friend Ralph was in it for all of ten seconds before he got a bloody nose. Now, when blood has been spilled… that’s a good gig.

The bottom line is that this show felt really special; Wormrot made it to the U.S. against all odds, and, hey, guess what?, they are really, really killer in concert. There have been a lot of good grind shows in NYC this year, but this was definitely one of the highlights for me. The band is playing in New York again (more specifically, Brooklyn) on October 3; I can’t wait. If Wormrot come to your town and you don’t go, you’re a fool. (Bonus: they have some awesome merch.) Get dates here.


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