Day Wave – ‘Stuck’

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Jackson Phillips (aka Day Wave) has posted the second single ‘Stuck’ from his forthcoming sophomore EP ‘Hard To Read’; out March 4 via Grand Jury (USA) / I OH YOU (AUS/NZ) and Fat Possum (UK/EU). The Oakland soloist combines lo-fi dream pop and jangle into accessible gems. Day Wave will be hitting up SXSW next month, followed by a hometown show at the Noise Pop Festival.

 
Day Wave – ‘Stuck

Visit Day Wave @ I OH YOU @ Facebook.

Linoleum Dream – ‘Iridescent’

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Introducing Linoleum Dream, a fresh four piece from Oakland, California. ‘Iridescent’ kicks off their new three track release (available now). Producer Jack Shirley was behind the mixing desk, known for his work with Deafheaven and Whirr. Last month the self-confessed Silver Shadows fans were the subject of controversy following a live show with Crisis Arm and Airs. Apparently bottles were thrown, people hurt etc. Having not been at the show I can’t comment but I hope Oakland stays creative, lots of great music coming from the port city this year!

 
Linoleum Dream – ‘Iridescent’

Visit Linoleum Dream @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

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: (22 Votes)

Whirr – ‘Heavy’

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Whirr are streaming the second single ‘Heavy’ (via Spin) from their forthcoming album ‘Sway’ (out September 23 thanks to Graveface Records). The Philly/Oakland shoegaze act gave us ‘Mumble‘ last month, it raised a few eyebrows due to the change from female lead vocals to male. ‘Heavy’ may ease those concerns, it’s arguably a stronger track. The subtle vocal harmonies in the latter half show how well the new approach can work. The opening minute is a doom-filled sludge fest with detuned guitars over a laboured rhythm. The uninitiated could be forgiven for presuming it would turn into a metal track. We know that Whirr’s Nick Bassett has kept busy playing with Nothing, that’s bound to rub off. However, half of the new album was initially penned by Joey Bautista and Loren Rivera back in Oakland. So ‘Sway’ should benefit from a mix of ideas when it lands next month. Pre-sale on now.

 
Whirr – ‘Heavy’

Visit Whirr @ Graveface Records @ Facebook.

Whirr – ‘Mumble’

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Graveface Records have dished the news on Whirr‘s second album ‘Sway’, out September 23. Since the release of Whirr’s ‘Around’ EP, the band have toured extensively while making a sport of social media confrontations. That’s putting it diplomatically! Now the five piece are split between coasts, Nick Bassett in Philly, while the remainder are in Oakland. The lead single ‘Mumble’ is just a short blast of what’s to come. While it only runs at two and a half minutes, it doesn’t lack the kind of progressive song writing that made ‘Around’ so great. Producer Jack Shirley has done a fantastic job containing it all. Pre-orders on colored vinyl, CD, cassette and digital are available here. And lastly, Whirr have also announced Stateside shows this September, details and tickets here.

 
Whirr – ‘Mumble’

Visit Whirr @ Graveface Records @ Facebook.