Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Whirr : "Sway"
Right from the first note the San Francisco band is putting more rock into their brand of dreamy...what ever sub-genre you want to tag them with...shoe-gaze being the most likely. This is not just a tribute to Slow Dive, this album feels just as influenced by Sonic Youth. Sure even the opener"Press" has that scraping shimmer like My Bloody Valentine employs , but they are letting themselves become pigeon holed by there influences.
These guys are hot on the heels of Nothing, who conjure together a some what similar blend of 90's influenced indie rock. These guys are dreamier than Nothing, the bass often harder and more fuzzed out and they lack the under coating of grunge Nothing carries. Drums and melody help propel songs like "Mumble". The key to making this sort of thing work is being grounded enough to not let the songs drift out from under you and put the listener to sleep. These guys rock enough to not let that become a problem.
Once the third song 'Dry" comes around they are hitting it harder almost like True Widow does, even relaxing into the verses. This gives them just the right balance of dynamics so their songs don't start sounding the same, though with five more songs to go the jury is still out. They do use different shades of dream when it comes to their guitar tone, some more distorted than others. The sweeping elegance of "Clear" shoe-cases their more crystalline guitar sound.The indulgence of this does cause the song to float away and is much less anchored than "Heavy' that follows. Despite it's name this one is moodier , but wouldn't say actually heavy.
The breathy tension of the title track hovers in an almost drone like fashion. The vocals are distant creating a darker effect than how they have been presented thus far. Dynamically droning it remains rather one dimensional. Though even the lull grows on you. The dynamic shift occurs on "Lines' somewhat more upbeat, the bass line propelling the songs sense of movement. The album fades into the great gray yonder . Almost sounding like a soundtrack to one of the balloons I let go of as a kid and wondered where it went.
I'll give this album a 9.5 it's growing on me , sometimes the slow and dreamy sits better with me than others. This albums shows a lot of growth from this band, if you like shoe gaze or indie rock of any flavor it's worth checking out.