Chapterhouse
Whirlpool


4.0
excellent

Review

by PECOAE USER (3 Reviews)
January 4th, 2007 | 27 replies | 7,013 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Upbeat, rhythmic, fast-paced shoegaze meant as much for those who "rock out" as for those on an acid trip.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Shoegaze had definitely reached its pinnacle in 1991 - My Bloody Valentine's Loveless came out, Ride's Nowhere had been released the year prior, both to huge acclaim from their audiences in the UK. Unlike the others, however, who had almost completely hidden the pop melodies in their works, Chapterhouse's Whirlpool only shrouded them in a sea of mist (not pink fuzz, for once). Whirlpool mixes rock freakouts like those found in "Guilt", and the effect-laden "Falling Down", with drum-driven trips like the fast-moving "Breather", and the poppy "Pearl."

Madchester had more or less grown independently of the Shoegaze scene in the US, but Whirlpool takes its samples and heavily rhythmic beats and mixes them gloriously into a sea of jangly, distorted guitars (especially on lead single "Pearl"). The pop melody is not hidden in this album, but it is brilliantly twisted into ways never thought possible by the likes of this reviewer. Other songs use samples for a similar blending of cultures, showcasing the band's hard rock side with "Falling Down", a song which may sound obnoxiously filled with wah-wah pedal foolery but pays off - like most of these songs do - with an anthemic (yet still drowned out) chorus which glorifies rock until an explosive climax.

The vocals, as well, are top notch, even in a genre where vocals matter very little, especially in opener, "Breather". Seductive, out-of-breath, and atmospheric, they uplift the album with their sense of content, yet shroud it also in mystery with unintelligible lyrics.

Where Chapterhouse goes wrong, however, is in tracks which do not have any rhythm. No matter the talent that exists in the band - no one wants to listen to 5 minutes of un-ground psychadelic fluff and effect-foolery. However, in an album of only 9 songs, so many are pop gold that this only takes the album down so much.

Like Loveless's pink fuzz and Nowhere's ocean waves, the cover of this album describes the inside perfectly - lightning bolts surround a lone wolf cowering in on itself. Lightning all around, the wolf has no choice but to fear - but it doesn't need to. The lightning of this album is warm, based around pop melodies with a base of hard rock, but spacey, its vocals soaring high into the atmosphere, or perhaps deeper into the whirlpool.

Fans of genre should not miss this excellent, underrated album which is truly something extraordinary.

Highlights:
Breather
Pearl
Falling Down

Low points:
Autosleeper
April


user ratings (88)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
PECOAE
January 4th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album - noticed no one had done it and I was itching to do a review.This Message Edited On 01.04.07

Neoteric
January 5th 2007



3243 Comments


I was gonna do it but mehh, I don't need to now I think.

PECOAE
January 5th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How do you think I did?

Neoteric
January 5th 2007



3243 Comments


It was short, concise and it was easy to read. Well done :thumb:This Message Edited On 01.05.07

PECOAE
January 5th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woohoo!

I think I may start reviewing much more.



AlienEater
January 5th 2007



716 Comments


cool review i may get this

PECOAE
January 5th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was just re-released with the liner notes; it was almost out of print.

Zebra
Moderator
January 5th 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and Nowhere are the greatest shoegazer albums ever. This might actually be the most accessible shoegaze album I've heard up to this point, it's very poppy but still effective. "Pearl" is the best song off of here with "Breather" as a close second.

PECOAE
January 5th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, definitely.

I LOVE "Breather" so much.

Big Baby Jesus
October 18th 2007



549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review for a short one (I'm partial to longer reviews myself.)

I'm surprised didn't elaborate "Autosleeper", and even more surprised you considered it a low point. Not only my favorite song on the album, but prolly in my top 5 of all time Shoe Gazer songs (And I am a man who loves his Shoe Gaze). That's just me tho.

I find the first half of the album to be pretty much classic, but the end of the album to be just above average. Still a greaat album tho, and like I said a great review.

SCREAMorphine
August 31st 2011



1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just heard Breather and was blown away, downloading now

foxblood
October 20th 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's like this album was created just for me, so god damn fantastic in every way.

Ire
October 20th 2011



41749 Comments


great band

foxblood
October 20th 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea, it's too bad they're overshadowed by so many more famous shoegaze bands

KILL
August 5th 2012



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

falling down rocks my ass

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

demigod!
January 30th 2013



43891 Comments


this is awesome

Digging: Black Flag - My War

foxblood
January 31st 2013



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

indeed, knew you'd dig it. i have absolutely no idea why they're not more popular

demigod!
January 31st 2013



43891 Comments


me neither, some of these songs just make me wanna fall asleep in an ocean

YankeeDudel
January 31st 2013



9305 Comments


yea this is great man

Digging: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum

foxblood
March 24th 2013



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

still needs more attention :[



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