Over the years, WORWS has time and again proven themselves a mainstay in the Portland hardcore and metal scenes. In 2016, they released their first EP Laylines, which offered a window into their evolving sound. After tyranny hit the White House, WORWS quickly shifted gears and retaliated by dropping the hefty, anthemic bomb, Truth to Power. Now, amidst the world crumbling around us, they deliver two more crushing blows; their first tracks in over two years. “Unsure” and “Oblivion” tackle tough topics of homelessness and struggling within capitalism, and prove the band is getting heavier and more exciting. Today, we’re pleased to give you first hearing of both tracks, along with proper commentary from the band, including their thoughts on both tracks, Portland music scene, Coronavirus’ impact on local community, top inspirations and other bands worth your time!
“Unsure” drops us down to a churning, slow burning number that plays like glowing hot embers. Again, Worws forces us to confront ourselves. Tony sheds light on the uncertainties of homelessness and our innate complicity in this systemic failure. The track spirals into a tense chaos before dropping into one of the heaviest breakdowns in Worws’ career. Dissonance swallows the guitar work, devastation breaks through cadence, and anger replaces fear.
Unsure is a song about homelessness, it’s about challenging yourself to understand what it’s like on the streets without every day comforts and amenities. It outlines fear of the unknown while pointing out how out of touch we are as participating members of society.
On “Oblivion”, Worws emphasizes the importance of self-perseverance in a capitalist society where identity is easily lost to heartless corporations. Dusty and Carter roll the rhythm section in like a tank trudging through a smoking field of feedback. Tony’s vocals explode like a cannon. Aaron and Sean alternate crushingly heavy riffs. Skirmishes of call and response vocals lead us through blisteringly fast choruses into a massive climax.
Oblivion is a song about wasted time and talent participating in the game of capitalism. It details how some of our brightest minds get caught up in working to the bone for corporations who don’t care about them. It also touches on elected officials and people in power who aren’t doing the jobs they were elected to do. Often taking money and working for corporations, contradicting their position and people they are supposed to be working for.
Alive but asleep, being able to see but not act, everything (everyone) has their price, we are all slaves to capitalism and the people in charge are steering the wheel, we often lose sight of what matters because we can’t talk to each other in person, we are scared of our neighbors and our neighbors are afraid of theirs, big sunglasses and headphones are a shitty way of not acknowledging the people around you and the world you pass through.
The EP was recorded by Mike Vera at BrownSounds Studios in October 2019. Guest Vocals on “Unsure” feature TJ Schneider. Album Artwork is done by Bill Eckerson.
Metal and Hardcore outfit WORWS hails from the streets of Portland, Oregon. Since their inception they have ripped through the local music scene with a unique and uncompromising sound. The five piece plays fast, complex songs that don’t easily fit in any one box. Sean Cisneros’s beautiful dark melodies tear away to crushing distortion accompanied by second guitarist Aaron Lange. Singer Tony Meuser howls angst and emotion drenched lyrics with desperation and abandon. Holding up the band, Dusty Overstreet fills the void with his bass and drummer Sean Carter keeps impeccable time while thrashing around his kit.
We tentatively have a show booked August 14th 2020 at El Corazon on the Funhouse Stage opening for Agent Orange, Underlords, The Convictions.
Portland music scene
The local scene in Portland is unique in the sense of how big and robust it is, 70% of the restaurants and bars also function as venues by night! At any given time there can be up to 100+ bands playing shows in a night across town! It’s a tradition to hop from one show to another, usually 2-3 shows a night on average!
The impact of Coronavirus will be stifling and may wipe a lot of the smaller bar venues out, and in turn a lot of musicians and artists will be looking for new jobs! Many more on top of that! The only thing we can focus on right now is creating a community with the people around you and people you care for. We have to help each other get past this crippling time in history and watch each other’s backs because we can’t guarantee that our elected officials will be there when the time comes!
Releasing some live recordings from over the years, recording more material for another upcoming album, opening for agent orange in Seattle in August 2020, making a music video for unsure or oblivion, touring again when we can.
Coronavirus affects us all and it will continue to do so for the foreseen future, we will have to learn to adapt to what it is that we can offer to people in the meantime.
A lot of us work in the service industry in one form or the other mostly bars, venues, restaurants, and our drummer Sean is a Barber. Most bars and restaurants in Portland book bands and do live music almost every night of the week to draw in more people.
No touring for a year on the west coast is definitely going to affect lots of people’s livelihoods and especially incomes!
Top 10 inspirations for the band
Where we grew up
Sean Cisneros, Tony Meuser and Sean Carter are originally from California. Dusty Overstreet is a Florida native and Aaron Lange is from Ohio. We all grew out of different backgrounds, listening to both similar genres and also totally different stuff. We believe this uniqueness adds to the chaotic, heavy hitting tunes that we create together.
In Worws, we treat each other as family. This includes anybody that has been a part of the project. You go through a lot as a band after any duration of time. Certain behaviors become predictable and some of it ends up driving you nuts, much like a family. However, we’ve been able to use this to grow and tighten connections. During lockdown, we’ve been playing video games with each other!
The Pacific Northwest is a magical place. It is surrounded by foggy snow capped mountains, lush greenery and a beautiful gorge where the Columbia River flows. It is truly a remarkable and inspiring place to live.
Portland is a mecca for both independent and mainstream shows in the PNW. It is almost always a stop on any west coast tour. On any given night there can be up to 100 bands playing throughout the city. It has become a tradition of ours to hop from one show to another, sometimes to as many as three in one night!
Our friends bands
Supporting music is a very important thing, more important than playing music itself. Most Portlanders are musicians and artists and it’s imperative that we support each other. From singing along as our friends tear it up on stage to catching up with a beer/joint, you have to show people that you love them. After all, music is something we all do and that brings us together! Seeing friends like Phantom Family, Lightheads and Hound doing great things is in turn it’s own reward.
Six months of the year we get rain. The four months surrounding that are overcast! The dreariest months of the year are always December and January where you bar hop just to stay dry. It’s a dark, cold and eerie kind of town. The perfect combination for writing heavy music!!
We Looovvvveee Mexican food and it’s the best in California!!! We all have our favorite spots to eat when on tour.
Seattle is our home away from home, the backyard playground that’s a mere three hours away. Every tour goes through Seattle. Just about anything you find interesting, they have it!
Being outdoors is important, especially after spending 6-8 months inside because of the rain. Spring time everything changes. From the first sunny day to the last days of summer, everyone is smiling and just stoked to be dry. We have an annual camping trip that we all go on for our guitarist’s girlfriend’s Birthday. If we’re too busy to camp for a few days then we load into the tour van and drive out to a river to swim for the day. The easy access to nature always keeps us busy with wonder.
“Our disconnect is an understandable response to the emptiness of materialized industrialized and spiritually impoverished society that has lost its connection to nature.” -How To Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan Abbie Hoffman –
Psychoactive vs. Psychedelic, Both!
WORWS loves flowers of any variety, but especially those with psychoactive properties. From microdosing to a full trip, psychedelics can help us deal with the physical and mental hardships that we have to endure through life. Modern medicine’s breakthrough with psychedelics is fascinating. We believe it helps with your mental plasticity and can reset your brain to take on emotional troubles with a different mindset.
Fun little factoid, three of us were on mushrooms when we did this live recording of “Pressure.” Can you tell who took them?
Other bands worth your time
Year Of The Coyote (Metal Grind Sludge)
are good friends who make some of the heaviest crushing music!!! They’re the NAILS of the Pacific Northwest!
Phantom Family (Post-punk with some horror punk vibes)
is a Portland staple, their music screams Portland on a rainy day! They just put out some new stuff and, as always, it shreds!
homies turned punk band influenced by sludge and 80s hardcore, who scream about anti-state and decolonial ways of life.
The Lightheads (Punk/power pop)
are good friends, whom we share drummers! (Sean Carter) They put some new music up recently and it’s pretty awesome.
Fall Children (Punk)
awesome Punk band from Ukiah. Fun original riffs and good old hardcore, these guys rip!
Fucked & Bounds (Hardcore grind punk)
is a killer Thrash band based in Seattle WA. Their singer Lisa is a badass who provokes chaos while dancing/climbing onto things. Always an awesome show!!
Cliterati (Trans-Feminisms Hardcore Punk)
are Legends of the Portland punk and trans community, Ami Lawless lead singer, also runs a Yoga center with her partner (Burning Spirits Yoga) that doubles as an all ages safe space for shows or any other all ages events in the community. Their music slays and they are great people!!!
New Low (Hardcore punk)
is a killer band we played with in Santa Rosa, California. Last October (2019 OBLIVION TOUR). Raw emotion and heavy riffs!!
DrySocket (Hardcore punk)
is an awesome new Portland band! A few great talents teamed up to bring you some fast and relentless hardcore perfection!
Fainting Spells (Melodic Hardcore)
are good friends, heavy melodic pandemonium and crazy live set! They recently finished recording some new tracks, keep your eyes peeled for the release!!
Hound (Beatdown Hardcore)
is a group that our former guitarist, TJ, fronts now. They are a heavy beat down hardcore band who have a few songs out. Tj has a guest vocal appearance in “Unsure”.
Worws is: Tony Mesuer: Vocals, Sean Cisneros: Guitar, Aaron Lange: Guitar, Dusty Overstreet: Bass, Sean Carter: Drums.