Posts Tagged ‘Whirr’

Ever since this whole newgaze scene exploded, I got hooked as I’ve always been a big fan of the whole shoegaze and Brit-pop music from the ’90s that it has so influenced it. It’s a resurgence of noisy shoegaze and dream pop. Some bands have taken a more aggressive and inventive approach and of course two of those bands are Whirr and Nothing. I could easily post at length at how much I’m into both and have sought out everything they’ve put out. As an ardent fanboy, of course I’ve also looked into other side band any member have been in or are currently doing.

Most notably in recent months is Death Of Lovers. They came about  in a collaboration of members of Whirr and Nothing after the two bands tour together last year. Two already-great bands coming together? I was giddy as a schoolgirl to say the least. After a few months of speculation and teasing, their debut EP, Buried Under A World Of Roses,  was release by Deathwish Inc. To say that it’s a slice of noisy shoegaze heaven would be an understatement. It’s a solid EP, although short in just four songs, and it’s so complex and layered that each listen yields something new.

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Death Of Lover is comprised of Nick Bassett  of Whirr, Domenic Palermo, Brandon Setta, and Kyle Kimball, all of Nothing, and keyboardist Cecilia Liu. All together have created something unique and simply beautiful. I am floored at how much I love this EP and band. Call it a new obsession. Then again isn’t all music that you love basically an obsession?

One thing I have to say about the vinyl colors and overall package design is that they’re all unique. In a way simple and ornate but I feel that they overall point is just that: simplicity and a sense of minimalism to allow the music to speak for itself. And boy, does it. Ever listened to music so intense and emotionally heavy that it makes your heart ache and you shed a tear or two? That’s what I get from Death Of Lovers.

Further down the rabbit hole I also came across Night Sins, which is the other band that Nothing drummer Kyle Kimball is in. In Night Sins, Kimball is the vocalist mainly but also the principal songwriter. So it basically it’s his project. They have a sound that is akin to Sisters Of Mercy and solidly 80’s Goth. Insanely layered as well and a lot going on to take it. In 2012 they release their debut LP, New Grave, on Italian label Avant!

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And now most recently this year, Night Sins put out their second LP, To London or The Lake. Again, another example of post-goth music executed flawlessly.

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If you keep following me down the rabbit hole still, we now find Swan Dive. This is the other band from Nothing guitarist Brandon Setta. Swan Dive are still  within the newgaze genre and style but a little more noisy and punk. There is a faster pace to their music that puts them on another level and goes beyond what the other bands are doing. They just put our their debut 7″ EP, Fly Toward The Sun. A few colors available for this one in a very limited run.

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Any fan and lover of music will agree that it’s always fun to track down and listen to any and all related bands of a band you love. I know I do. It expands the sound palette and exposes you to new music. Isn’t that the point at times of listening to music?

I always stress out that I will never have enough time in my life to listen to all the music and records and bands that are out there which appeal to me. I guess obsessing over certain bands and their roots and off-shoots are a good way to remedy that stress. Right?

I recently reviewed the Death Of LoversBuried Under A World Of Roses EP over at the music site I write for. Feel free to peep that review here.

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What the hell happened? Whirr have completely blown up. It seems just yesterday that no one knew who they were and all real knowledge was that Nick who had joined Deafheaven, was also in another band called Whirl. Later changing their name to Whirr.

So here we are I guess. A few months…year maybe?…I don’t know. Feels like ages I have been into this band that it has all gone by so quick.

They just very recently released their first full-length, Pipe Dreams, on Tee Pee Records after the much-successful June EP 7” earlier. I say much-successful because it’s already in its second pressing from what I am hearing. So given all of this craziness over the band, it seemed fitting that a proper reissue of their Distressor EP was due.

Now. As far as I know, the original version of the Distressor 12” EP was mired with issues. First, it was done by a UK-based label that seemingly shafted a few people in delivering the goods. So it seems that not everyone got what they ordered and left plenty out in the cold.

So here we are almost a year later and a reissue has been done by the good folks over at Savannah, GA-based Graveface Records. This reissue not only comes in new vinyl colors, but also brand new, completely redone artwork and inserts. Something that is always interesting about reissues. Ya know, making it something new and altogether different for fans.

The simple and basic black wax has been done away with a Clear w/ Black & White Splatter for the retail version. A Green/White Swirl version is available for Graveface Record Club members. (More on that latter color later).

The retail version is out of 325 copies. The splatter color is nicely done and I dig the redone artwork and inserts. 

      

I do have to bust balls where it needs to be done. I don’t understand the reason to completely change the artwork. Was it the band’s decision? Was it the reissuing label’s? Who made that decision?

We have gone from a tastefully nude woman to a dog in front of a stack of speakers. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for both. They both fit. Cryptic and strange and very much conducive to the swirling and shoegaze-y sounds contained within…but I need answers!

I have a theory…and will offer it in an effort to start internet shit-talking and rumor-mongering. The original pressing…which by the way is a screen-cap of Nicole Kidman from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut…is to appeal to the guys. You know. Nude chicks…Huh. Huh. Huh…While the reissue cover art appeals to the ladies…”Awwwww…it’s a doggy!”. In front of a wall of speakers to of course still retain some masculinity.

Insert more shit-talking non-sense here I am guessing.

But here’s the bottom line. This reissue is pretty great. It was needed. The inclusion of the demo versions of “Leave” and “Meaningless” were an added bonus. And of course making the release available again to anyone who missed out. That was a no-brainer.

My only beef of sorts…I guess…is the additional color of the release. There is a second color available: Green/White Swirl. But you could only get that if you were to join the label’s Record Club. For a determined amount, you’ll get all releases the label puts out in club-specific colors for the year. This is how I understand it. That’s really a great offer when it comes down to it…much like the Sub Pop Singles Club back in the day and even when Victory Records tried to pull that off back in the mid-90’s…but in this current economy clime, that may be a bit tough for some. Surely it’s a great way to check out new bands and releases from the label, but to me it feels a bit forced if I only have interest in that one band and I’m a completist asshole…like I surely am. I’m by no mean knocking Graveface and their Record Club…but if my interest in their roster so far is only Whirr, then the club doesn’t make sense to be a part of…thusly missing out on the exclusive color.

But hey…do yourself a favor…get this reissue from Graveface any way you can. It’s pretty killer and a lot of effort went into it. I’m impressed and hooked into it. And don’t worry, if you miss out on the splatter or swirl colors, there’s already talk of another pressing being in the works. So there’s no missing out.

And of course…follow the instructions listed on the insert…

Whirr – June EP 7″

Posted: October 3, 2011 by Juan D. in Record Nerds
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I was initally going to do a pretty intense…and somewhat half-assed…post about The Melvins’ Endless Residency 8xLP box set. But since I received this beauty in the mail today, I 86’d that idea.

Just hot off the presses we have the WhirrJune EP 7″. I have been hooked on this band since hearing their Distressor LP earlier this year. And of course the ties the band has with Deafheaven, another recent favorite band. After putting Distressor, Whirr got signed to Tee Pee Records and put out this two-song EP as a tease for what is to come when they release their full-length sometime next year. I think.

Two songs…“Junebouvier” and “Sundae”…more shoegaze indie-pop wonderfulness. Limited to 250 copies on simple Coke Bottle Green. I’m a sucker for this color. I remember the first time I ordered a record via mail…way back a million years ago before the Internet you kids are all crazy about nowadays…and I received a 7” in Coke Bottle Green. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And it still is!

The labels are plain and simple. And that right there is very complimentary in the simplicity of the music. Plus the non-descript lables pretty much indicate that the music should speak for itself.

This 7″ is such a tease!

I want to listen to more Whirr now! Needless to say I am pretty stoked for their full-length.

“Impatiently waiting since 1995”

Whirl – Distressor 12” EP

Posted: June 27, 2011 by Juan D. in Record Nerds
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Every once in a while a new band will come along that blows my mind with their music to a level that I obsess about them non-stop. It’s rare, but it does happen. And I listen to their record(s) ad nauseum and dissect the music and try to just drown in their sound. It has happened again now with Whirl. I honestly have no solid idea how exactly I stumbled upon the group and their music. It’s definitely through the band’s connection with Deafheaven. It turns out that Nick Bassett of Deafheaven was and still is in Whirl prior to him joining Deafheaven. This connection is more than likely what prompted me to check out Whirl. As soon as I got through listening to the Distressor EP stream on their bancamp page, I was hooked. Whirl (now going by the name Whirr due to some legal tanglings), play straight-up shoegaze indie pop that is in the same style and feel as the bands of that genre back in the 90s. And it’s awesome.

The band put out a very limited cassette of Distressor and as expected it quickly went out of print. A second run of it is available from Bridgetown Records. But of course finding the vinyl version of this is what matters most. At least to all the nerds involved on this hobby.

The vinyl was done by The Sounds of Sweet Nothing out of the UK. At the time of looking into it, I did not know you could order directly from the label. So after seeing it posted on Whirl’s Facebook page, I ordered it from Rough Trade in the UK.

500 copies pressed in black vinyl. Simple jacket and artwork. The images adoring the record are vague and allow for the music to speak for itself. Which is what really matters here. Especially with the music Whirl creates.

Now here’s where I am annoyed to no end.

First. There must be some sort of cardboard shortage in the UK. Do they not have normal LP mailers like we do here in the U.S. I always seem to get records shipped in these flimsy envelope mailers that will guarantee the records to get all jacked up.

Second. I know and understand that Rough Trade is a label and a store. Why in the hell is there a price/info label sticker affixed to the jacket itself?!?! Talk about taking away from the simplicity of the cover art with this thing. I’ll have to figure out a way to safely take it off without damaging the jacket. Any suggestions?

Third. I should have waited until Deathwish got these in their distro and have a better chance of un-jacked and un-stickered jackets. Hopefully.

Oh the risks and adventures of mail ordering. Never ceases to amaze me.

Oh yeah…I wrote a pretty damn good review of the actual EP over at The 1st Five…check it out here…Boo-yah!