The Whip crack on!
For around about a year, RoomThirteen has been banging the drum for The Whip and although we may not have been hitting the drums as ferociously as the band, its been a pleasure to see them progress to the stage where ‘X Marks Destination’, their debut album, is released.
Opener ‘Trash’ informs the listener immediately what type of album they are about to receive and its patient build sets the scene for the track to race off into the distance by the time the chorus revs to life. Given that its followed by ‘Frustration’ the album is off to a fantastic start that manages to pull together not only a list of influences on the band but also the ways that the band manages to attack. The drums have already been mentioned as a great reason to like The Whip and it is fair to say that the bass lines have been touched by the hands of Hook and Mani in the way they can propel a dance track along but still not overpower it. The vocal stylings of Bruce Carter are the atypical say nothing and try to sound as though it is saying everything but at the end of the day, it probably does say very little
The instrumental ‘Divebomb’ has that Kraftwerk updated for this millennium feel to it and it does have a filthy core that should benefit from a few cheeky remixes, it does possibly drag on for a bit long, particularly in the context of an album.
There is perhaps a lull in the middle of the is record that another one or two storming songs would have turned this record into a contender for record for the year but this dip in the pace and tempo will mean that it is remembered as pretty good but not ground-breaking.
‘Muzzle #1’ and ‘Sister Siam’ up the tempo and tenacity for the home straight and whilst this raises the spirit and tempo it equally begs the question of how good the album could have been with a bit more focus. Its hard for any new dance-style act to make a record that is going to sound as good at home as they would hope to make it sound in the live arena or being played in a club so there is no great shame in having a record that is merely just good but having heard and lived with the best of the band’s material for the past year, perhaps theres just a sense of the familiar with it. Where this will benefit The Whip is that if they can get this material played to a new audience, they will likely be able to wow them on first impact as they did us.
That said, for a debut album, it is still quietly impressive and should entice a few more out to see the live shows, where the band is really capable of turning up the heat. We are still waiting for that modern indie / electro classis album and whilst The Whip has possibly created it if we are talking about EP length, they just fall short when it comes to a long-playing opus. It’s a damn good start though.