So I get out of work and go sweat about five years off of my life at the gym. I came home to see a package arrived from Graveface Records. It was my Whirr Around 180 gram vinyl! Nice way to smooth over another fantastic day at work.
I opened the package and not only is there the totally awesome packaging, the heavy duty 180 gram vinyl, and some crazy looking LP sleeve with a twirly thing cut into it, but a Pixie stick. And what looks like a page from a book. Page 421 and 422 of some mystery novel. I will scan it and post it later. There was also one tiny puzzle piece, plus what looks like a collector’s card for some grotesque looking baby called “Ravenous Ryan”, and a poster with what looks like a child blowing its head up with a game controller. Those folks at Graveface are some twisted mo fos, and that’s a pretty damn cool thing.
As for the 180 gram EP, it’s amazing. My good friend David at Sounds Like Orange wrote a great article about it, which you can check out here. I plan on writing a proper review later in the week, but for now I’ll give you my immediate thoughts.
If you’re familiar with Whirr(formerly Whirl) at all then you know they love reverb, feedback, and the boy/girl vocal harmonies that were staples of many great shoegaze bands of the late 80s and early 90s(I’m looking at you MBV). Now they take all those elements and mix some of their California magic in with it and give it a harder, more punk aesthetic. Their debut LP Pipe Dreams was a huge step forward to a more dream-like sound. Much more atmospheric than the Distressor EP. Around seems to be continuing that atmospheric/ambient trend. “Drain” is 8 minutes of a build up to a broken heart. A lot of bands use reverb like it’s going out of style, and it becomes a crutch. With Whirr they use reverb as a secret weapon. It’s the cloak that covers the darkness. Their sound is gothic. It’s dream goth. “Drain” is quite stunning. Building upon bombast like Explosions In The Sky in detonate mode, along with squealing guitars and a steady, distorted rhythm guitar. There’s six folks making all the noise in Whirr, but on this track it sounds like there 20. It’s big, emotional, and cathartic. “Keep” opens up like an atom bomb blast, cymbals crashing and guitars being abused before the track melts into single notes and picks up the pace with more gothic flair. “Swoon” and “Around” are quieter tracks, but no less effective and powerful. In the quieter moments Whirr reveal an honest beauty in their writing. Like that girl you knew in high school that never had to wear make-up. She had an honest beauty that didn’t require any layers. “Swoon” has some Billy Corgan-like guitar noise during some of the louder moments. Classic Gish stuff, pre-shaved head Billy.
All right, that was more like a real review, but I couldn’t help it. If you’ve never listened to Whirr before, you really should. And I remember reading awhile back that their practice space was broken into and they lost some gear and merch stuff while they were in Europe touring. So, you should head to their website and buy some stuff. Just do it. You don’t need that latte, and you certainly don’t need to go see The Lone Ranger. Use that money and buy a Whirr t-shirt, or album. Check it out here. And you can follow them on Tumblr here.
Okay. Time for an iced coffee refill and time to flip the record.