Friday, July 12, 2013

EP Review: Whirr-Around

Let’s cut to the chase; Whirr are trying to make a radically different statement with the release of Around. Why else would they go and open the EP with the likes of “Drain”, their longest song to date? I think the trick to it is that it doesn't seem like Whirr are doing something at first, opening the song with the same type of quiet, ringing chords that opened their magnificent Pipe Dreams. However, the song shifts quick, into an eight minute sprawl of consistently cascading guitar riffs with the same three lines repeated again and again. “Drain” almost comes close to being sludgy, (especially once it hits its apex and the lyric “Drain me” is practically droned out) if the post-rock tint of hope didn't linger in the song’s background.

The song is a stage setter for the rest of Around to be sure though. “Swoon” gives way from its booming opening to a noisy calm of night time shoegaze riffs and atmospheric fuzz in the back. Steadily, the track rises, and before long the track is booming again, gliding on the soaring, flat out heavenly vocals of Kristina Esfandiari, which maybe the corner stone of this EP, consistent and even more prominent then they were on their debut. In fact, nearly everything on Around rings out cleaner as the ever present fuzz of the previous releases is nearly discarded here Meaning the shoegaze heavy warmth of Pipe Dreams isn’t here, but it allows them to go into the darker direction they want to here. All the songs feel heavy, not only sonically but emotionally, the screeching ups and quiet downs now present in the songs just add to this feel. Lyrically as well, as buried as they may seem for a band like Whirr. They are filled with a sense of disconnect to everyone else and the world at large. “Keep” is an embodiment of this; roller coaster bursts of shoegaze to puncture indie rock fall downs, all while soundtracking the EP’s most isolated lyrics. The only track that is different is the title track, the EP's only earnest call for company, and appropriately it is sonically different from the rest of the EP too, built around little more than clean guitar strumming and Esfandiari's vocals. It’s as close as Around gets to quiet, but at the same time gorgeous and lovely as well.

Around is a massive step for Whirr; slowed down tempos, shifts in dynamics, and more purely darker tones to their songs. More so, it appears that they are actively trying to step out of the pure shoegaze mold, trying to find something else. It’s hard to say what they will reach from just the four songs here, but Around is still an absolutely gorgeous coalition of noise and post-rock, another wonderful release from one of the best shoegaze bands making music now.


Whirr’s Facebook
Buy Around here, from Graveface Records

No comments:

Post a Comment