By: Joseph VanBuren
Tame and predictable: two words one could never use in a fair description of Wetnurse. Brutal, spastic, intense, intricate, calculated, surprisingly melodic, occasionally psychedelic: any of these words and phrases could be used, or any combination thereof. It’s as if the band couldn’t choose between the nearly infinite sub-genres of metal and rock, so they decided to throw a little bit of each into every song. And while this could easily be the formula for a sloppy and unintentional disaster, the result from Wetnurse is an interesting and intelligent, in-your-face disaster. The band has tight chemistry and easily bounces between styles and tempos, with dual guitars that are always intense and in synch, even when at odds with each other (such as in “Not Your Choice,” when a metal-core riff makes a delightfully perfect match for a simultaneous sixties surf riff). Vocalist Gene Fowler’s aural attack is relentless, using the best elements of hardcore and death metal in his vocal style. Wetnurse keeps it heavy and energetic, then randomly adds complete departures like the funky, acoustic outro of “Life at Stake,” which sounds like something Beck would play. For the most part, Wetnurse will probably sit well with fans of Between the Buried and Me, Dark Tranquility, Napalm Death, The Devil Wears Prada, and the like. But though Wetnurse sometimes sounds like all of these bands, they have fused their influences into an overall style that sounds like none of them.