Wino’s ‘Adrift’ is a 4-star acoustic take on hard rock

Wino
“Adrift,”
(Exile on Mainstream)
Grade: ****

By Ray Hogan

It takes pretty huge cojones to cover a Motorhead song. To do so acoustically… well you probably need a Lemmy-level of credibility to go with that courage. Scott “Wino” Weinrich lacks neither of those attributes. As an integral member of Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Shrinebuilder, he’s doom/biker rock royalty, an underground demigod.

“Adrift” is his second proper solo disc and shows a very different side of the man who has survived more than 30 years in the world of hard rock. “Adrift” is a largely acoustic disc that reveals a startlingly impressive and surprisingly traditional singer-songwriter. There’s not much room to hide in the man-and-his-guitar format but Wino doesn’t need such recesses. The haunting title track opens the disc with a balladry that falls squarely in the folk tradition. It’s a song that is impossible to ignore. It’s followed by “I Don’t Care,” which sounds more like a tune befitting the singer-guitarist’s resume (and includes some wonderful dirty electric guitar soloing over the bewitching main acoustic riff of the song). He finds more muscle in “Mala Suerte” with his acoustic strumming than most other musicians could muster with a wall full of Marshalls. Instrumental acoustic interludes are usually a loathsome thing in heavy metal. Here, the both pretty and mournful “Suzanes Song” falls naturally into place with the

As for the Motorhead cover, it’s “Iron Horse/Born to Lose” and it’s a mid-disc highlight. It’s not hard  to see career similarities between Weinrich and Lemmy Kilmister and the former cuts to the lyrics core as only someone who has walked in the same shoes can.

“Adrift“ was apparently suggested as a tribute to bandmate and bassist Jon Blank. The material and emotions his passing brought out of Weinrich are certainly inspired — and really solid proof there’s much more to the man than the deafening volume of the music that has, up until now, helped define his career.

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