Published Nov 29, 2014Michael Mann's 1995 crime-drama masterpiece Heat is a movie jam-packed with anti-heroes, one of whom even gets to beat up Henry Rollins. But none of the characters are more devious than Kevin Gage's hirsute and crookedly smiling psychopath, Waingro. It's a suitably badass source for the moniker of these Vancouver stoner-rock aggressors, whose self-titled debut is the heavy-music equivalent of an exceptional character actor in an unforgettable role - a fully realized and entirely immersive performance. Boasting a blend of throat-shredding growls and hooky riffs similar to that of Cancer Bats, Waingro can just as easily soundtrack a circle pit (see the double-time intro of "Force Fed" or punk-inflected album opener "Firebird") as cause heads to bob along to a solid groove (like the galloping half-time of "Bathed in Tongues" or the brief QOTSA-esque grind of "Matador").
Waingro put the "power" in power trio, as drummer Benjie Nesdoly adds just enough flourish to singer/guitarist Brian Sepanzyk and bassist Nate Pennell's locked-in riffage to give the album an organic vibe that elevates the already banging tunes to maximum intensity levels. (Just check the sustained sonic damage during the second half of "Rekall.") Over the course of eight songs and three interludes, Waingro have crafted an impressive debut that should soon see them mentioned alongside fellow Vancouverites Baptists and Bison B.C. as a reliable source of West Coast heaviness. (Independent)