Review Summary: It's like if Mike Patton was Between the Buried and Me's front man1 of 1 thought this review was well written
As if the band's name wasn't enough of a sign, What's He Building In There? Is a very strange band. With a sound in the vein of SiKth and early Between the Buried and Me, it's hard to tag them as anything but progressive metalcore (even though many will argue this genre doesn't exist). However that's about where the similarities stop as What's He Building In There? (WHBIT?) Have crafted a sound that is their own.
Similar to bands like BTBAM and the Human Abstract, WHBIT? is very guitar driven. However the guitarists really tried to think outside the box on their debut. The solos on this album are next to none, as most of the guitar work is done in the form of unique/proggy shredding to keep the songs fresh and forward moving. They try to set themselves apart from their metalcore peers by doing this, and it generally works. However, as the album spans for almost an hour and with the little variation things can get a little stale.
But don't let this turn you off as there's much more to WHBIT?'s sound than just the guitars. You could compare this band to The Human Abstract, but actually with good vocals. Along with the guitarists, the vocalist is part of the main driving force for the band. He has a very respectable range and not only that, but he has quite the array of vocal techniques. He has a nice high-end shriek, a mean growl, and a pretty unique singing style. If it doesn't remind you of Mike Patton when he worked with The Dillinger Escape Plan, then you're gay.
One of the larger reasons this album is so unique is the because of the bassist. It's a shame that the bassist is so low in the mix at times, because he is very talented. He has a very funky style that lends a large amount of uniqueness to the album's sound. At times the rest of the band cashes in on this fact and takes the funk/groovyness to “a whole 'nothuh level” (madTV). This is best displayed about 35 seconds into “Windmills” where the band slows the pace for a little bit and they put off a sound that's reminiscent of ska.
However, WHBIT? isn't perfect on their self titled debut. The band doesn't offer too much variation from song to song, which is probably their biggest flaw. Combine that and the fact that the album lasts for almost a whole hour and you've got an album that some people will have a hard time getting all the way through. The production also isn't the greatest as one would expect with a debut. Things are blended together and the rhythm section is often drowned out by the guitars and vocals. There are also many odd underlying noises and effects that would give the album a much richer atmosphere if only the production had made them more apparent.
Overall WHBIT? Has crafted their own funky brand of metalcore with their self titled debut. The guitars are technical and unique, the bass is damn groovy and fresh, and the vocals are diverse and demanding. The production however is a little shoddy which takes away from the band's sound. The guitars are too often blended together and the rhythm section, especially the bassist, is a little too drowned out at times. WHBIT?'s self titled debut certainly isn't without flaws but it's definitely a solid and unique release, and they're definitely a band to look out for in the future.