Whirr – ‘Sway’

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Whirr‘s new album ‘Sway’ arrives this week via Graveface Records. The bicoastal band (located between Philly and Oakland) have delivered four EPs and two albums since forming in 2010 (originally as Whirl). ‘Sway’ first turned heads with the lead single ‘Mumble’ back in July. The once familiar female vocals had switched to male, generating comparisons to Nothing (which features Whirr’s Nick Bassett on bass). Nick has also worked with Nothing’s Dominic Palermo on the side project, Death of Lovers. So yes, that creative relationship is going to rub off. But ironically, unlike previous releases where Nick has been the primary songwriter, this album is their most collaborative work to date (according to the PR).

Producer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Frameworks) deserves credit for his work on the LP. There’s a lot of bottom end guitars in the mix and he’s managed to convey the weight of the band incredibly well. It’s a heavy sounding record, in the literal sense. Whirr have mastered their hard-hitting slow motion rhythms. It’s powerful stuff when combined with their thick guitar tones. That’s the guts of the record, that feeling it gives you, above the catchiness of any particular song. Of course, like most bands of the genre, it’s a sound best experienced live, and yet Shirley has packaged it perfectly.

In terms of melody, ‘Sway’ doesn’t reach for great heights. The monotone vocals explore a narrow melodic range and yet somehow it still gets stuck in your head. Especially songs like ‘Lines’ and ‘Heavy’. It’s a credit to the style and delivery of the five piece. While Whirr are commonly labelled as shoegaze, they’ve really got just as much in common with punk or metal. They bridge that gap which opens the door to a much wider audience.

On the downside, it runs short (only eight songs in less than 40 minutes). So it’s more of a bulky EP than a regular full length. It also struggles with a lack of variation which is probably why there’s only eight songs, if it were more, the album would drag. To their credit, the cinematic ‘Clear’ (midway through the album) attempts to change this. It’s epic in scope but doesn’t change the feel enough. I was expecting a guest female vocalist to pop in and shake it up. That said, overall it’s still a great listen. It lacks some depth and variation but it still leaves a lasting impression. ‘Sway’ hits you like a weight. It holds you down with a wall of fuzzy guitars and pummels you! Afterwards, you’ll be wanting to do it all over again. Pick it up via Graveface (Vinyl / Digital).

Visit Whirr @ Graveface Records @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Whirr - 'Sway'
Songwriting
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
PRO'S
  • HUGE sound & feel
  • The switch to male vocals works
CON'S
  • Runs short (eight songs)
  • Lacks some variation
3.9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (16 Votes)

Lazyeyes – ‘Islip’

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Since forming in 2012 Lazyeyes have been heralded by the BBC, XM Radio and labelled the “best psych/shoegaze band in New York” by Deli Magazine! The Brooklyn trio was founded by guitarist/singer Jason Abrishami (The Twees) and features Eastern Hollows drummer Jeremy Sampson and Paul Volpe on bass (Triple Cobra). Check out their latest lo-fi rocker ‘Islip’ (premiered via exclaim) and keep an ear out for their forthcoming EP and tour.

 
Lazyeyes – ‘Islip’

Visit Lazyeyes @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Airs – ‘Missing’

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Airs will play a string of live dates next month with Ringo Deathstarr, Moonbeams and Crisis Arm! The San Francisco-based rock act delivered their much loved full length ‘Adore‘ in 2013. There’s a Crisis Arm split in the works as well, plus a new album (expected later this century)! *wucca wucca* We can argue about top tracks but ‘Missing’ (with singer Britty Drake of Pity Sex) is one of my faves! The five piece are ready to blow out the eardrums of West Coast fans real soon…

AIRS TOUR DATES

10/8/14 DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA w/ Ringo Deathstarr, Moonbeams, One Hundred Percent
10/29/14 Elbo Room, San Francisco, CA w/ Crisis Arm, Jesus Tape
10/30/14 The Nerd Castle, Oakland, CA w/ Crisis Arm, Easy Living, Toner
10/31/14 TBA, Fresno, CA w/ Crisis Arm
11/1/14 TBA, Los Angeles, CA w/ Crisis Arm
 
Airs – ‘Missing’

Visit Airs online @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Gidge – ‘Fauna, Pt I’

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Wow, I’m not sure what Gidge are doing with ‘Autumn Bells’ but it’s taking me to another headspace entirely! The album is out via Atomnation on September 23 with a range of electronica, surreal soundscapes and experimental compositions. The Swedish duo (Ludvig Stolterman and Jonatan Nilsson) echo their Nordic surrounds with a deep selection of sounds (some tracks contain up to 100 different channels). Yep, 100 – that’s a mixing challenge. Pre-sale digital or vinyl here!

 
Gidge – ‘Fauna, Pt I’

Visit Gidge @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Blood Sister – ‘Ghost Twin’

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Blood Sister‘s explosive new song ‘Ghost Twin’ has hit the interwebs (praised by Consequence Of Sound, Stereogum and Pitchfork). The noise act is sporting a new live line-up helmed by singer/guitarist Ezana Edwards. The San Francisco-based artist wrote and recorded the forthcoming EP solo. Pre-orders are available via Bloodmoss Records (out September 30).

 
Blood Sister – ‘Ghost Twin’

Visit Blood Sister @ Bloodmoss Records @ Facebook.

Versus People – ‘To Your Eyes’

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Introducing Versus People, a fresh faced trio out of Martigny, Switzerland! If you’re a fan of woozy guitars and hushed vocals, take a peek at their new EP ‘To Your Eyes‘ (out this week). The guitarists (Alex, Lucien and Aurélien) produce waves of fuzz over a drum machine. They’re not afraid to let their 90s shoegazin’ influences show! It’s a little pitchy at times and will be predictable (to some) but overall it’s an interesting debut. Looking forward to what comes next.

 
Versus People – ‘To Your Eyes’

Visit Versus People @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.