WAYWARD, THE: Plutonic: LP

The first thing that instantly comes to mind is Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard, due to the heavy percussion, predominance of bass, and the pained vocals. The riff for “Sandstorm” is relentless! It comes at you hard and fast—bass and drums punching it out, pausing quickly to access the damage—and then getting right back to it. The songs are wound tight and executed with precision, making me think these guys must log hours away in the practice room. The structures are a little more complex than usual, and they sometimes veer into jazz territory, but never get bogged down in technique, choosing to focus instead on putting bruises on the listener’s skull. Just check the opening to “C Sharp” with its opening that bashes and mangles away. So good. –Matt Average (Nerve Altar, nervealtar.blogspot.com)