Whirr
Distressor


3.5
great

Review

by xezene USER (3 Reviews)
July 28th, 2010 | 163 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A great cover, a great band name, and some really good tunes help propel this EP into good standing amongst its shoegazing peers for 2010.

Okay, so let's get this out of the way right off the bat. This may be the most attractive cover for an album released all year, but I suppose we can thank Nicole Kidman for that and not just Whirl.

With that said, let's get to the actual album itself. Distressor is the debut EP released by North California shoegaze band, Whirl. After receiving some acclaim over their demo tape earlier this year, Whirl decided to give it a go right away, and that is what this effort is. And for a first effort, oh man, how really wonderful it is.

The good-sized EP kicks off right away with an introduction to their sound of sorts in Preface, with Nicole Kidman whispering a sampled line of dialogue from Eyes Wide Shut over fuzzy, circa-1988 guitars. For an introduction, it works fairly well, and we find the album moving quite steadily along into the much more structured, these-guys-have-definitely-been-listening-to-a-lot-of-Slowdive song Leave. It was originally one of the songs to make it from the demo tape, and here it gets a nice refurbished touch. The tune is fairly memorable, assisted in large part by the band's faded-out, male-female vocals giving it some traction.

After Leave, the EP gives way to Blue, a much heavier track that puts large focus on the pounding drums -- which, for a shoegaze song, is rather refreshing. Again, we have the traditional male-female vocals wailing away in the background behind the quite noisy feedback-laden guitars. However, it should be pointed out that the vocals Whirl provides aren't strictly of the My Bloody Valentine strain, for all their other influence. Instead of just whispering the vocals sleepily a'la MBV, Whirl actually puts a lot of effort into passionately singing the vocals, and this ends up making the EP sound very sincere.

The melancholy is increased in Ghost, which is a shining example that there are good song structure melodies hidden beneath all the warm noise. The only lyric I discerned out of the vocals on this track was "stay with me," but that's enough to capture your heart with tunes like this. Meaningless kicks off with a much quicker tempo, and it sounds as if My Bloody Valentine decided to cooperate with Sonic Youth for a noiser and faster-paced version of "Teen Age Riot," which sounds rather great if you were ever curious, as Whirl doesn't hesitate to point out.

Child, very next on the line-up, is the most directly My Bloody Valentine-influenced track on the EP. At the start and at the end, it quickly reminds of "Only Shallow" from the classic Loveless album, but between, for the remainder of the track, it doesn't contain much memorable flavor to it. Closing the EP out, we enter the phenomenal Sandy to the sound of an acoustic guitar coming in, quite unexpected this far into the game. But have no fear, if you are still craving fuzzy guitars they come in soon after to join the acoustic, and a rather front-and-center female vocal track does much to give the track something original. This progresses for about 5 minutes, quietly ending the EP to the sounds of waving ambience.

For a first effort, Distressor is certainly promising. In an age where shoegaze is seemingly making a come-back of sorts, after listening to this EP, a new talent seems to have arisen to join the ranks of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Asobi Seksu. Whirl has made a very listenable debut.

However, while the EP is a fairly solid and very enjoyable listen, with some stand-out tracks, it does have some drawbacks. Firstly, and perhaps most easy to spot, is this EP has very little originality to add to the genre. Yes, yes, a little much to expect with a first release, so we can hold out hope the second one has more of a spark of ingenuity to it. Secondly, a good amount, if not most, of the songs on this EP are rather static. They don't really grow, or change, and while it's nice and certainly enjoyable to listen to, a more focused and varied approach may do Whirl's future release some good.

With all that being said, I would certainly recommend this pleasant listen to fans of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, or Sonic Youth. While borrowing much from what has come before, it gives hints here and there (Leave, Blue, Sandy) of refreshing breaths of new air into the genre of shoegaze. Especially recommended for late-night listening!

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Whirl's new release Distressor can be listened to for free here: http://whirl.bandcamp.com/album/distressor


user ratings (100)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
July 28th 2010


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love you babe.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

xezene
July 28th 2010


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

:D

Shoegaze forever.

BallsToTheWall
July 28th 2010


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://shoegazeralive4.blogspot.com/


that's what i'm talking about.

fromtheinside
July 28th 2010


19155 Comments


you guys should check out
the men - immaculada too.

Digging: Techno Animal - The Brotherhood of the Bomb

xezene
July 28th 2010


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mmm nice pick with The Men, hadn't heard of them but 'Lazarus' is pretty good. Sounds like MBV's "You Made Me Realise" EP.

kount
September 10th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ya this great

and immaculada is excellent, awesome dudes

Rev
March 24th 2011


9441 Comments


you said it best, brotha

psykonaut
April 10th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good shit.

captaincrunch11
May 1st 2011


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow this is fucking great.

psykonaut
May 1st 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoa i listened to this last night yeah this is awesome

Rev
May 1st 2011


9441 Comments


well yeah

captaincrunch11
May 1st 2011


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jesus Leave is suuuuuch a good song FUCK

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2011


17231 Comments


A. They changed their name to Whirr. B. this makes it seem that the folks in Deafheaven can do no wrong.

FelixCulpa
June 12th 2011


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Exactly what I was about to say. So yeah... What redsky just said.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2011


19067 Comments


This is a swell album.

Digging: Objekt - Objekt #2

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


19067 Comments


FUCK

SO

GOOD

sniper
September 21st 2011


19079 Comments


aren't they called whirl? wtf

sniper
September 21st 2011


19079 Comments


oh redsky says they changed their name. i like their old one better.

foxblood
October 22nd 2011


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hm, didn't know they changed the name from whirl to whirr. odd change

BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2011


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty sure they were threatened with a lawsuit by some faggot band with the same name



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