I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for good copy on a band's website. (In the interest of full disclosure I see so many sites where the band has no biographical information that I am happy to see any creative copy on a band's website.) After all, I come across a lot of bands and I like to see the ones that give me a reason to check them out before I hear a note of their music. In the Whale is a duo from Denver, and when you visit the band's website, you're greeted with this statement: "Take a hard drivin’ trucker. Give him a bottle of Tennessee’s finest and let him loose at a Mexican bar during spring break. Now listen to our tunes." Hey, that tells me that the guys put some effort into the content of the website.
This EP begins with "Robert Johnson", a fitting title for a punk blues tune. This is reminiscent of what The Black Keys used to do - only it's more energetic and raw. Actually, it's a little closer to The Neckbones than anything The Black Keys used to do. About halfway through the song, the guitar borders a psychedelic sound and is accompanied by hand claps that will get your head moving. Speaking of energy, that is basically the essence of an In the Whale song. These guys seems to have mastered the art of capturing live energy in the studio.
"Grandpa Pete" has something that could scare some people off. Namely, Cookie Monster vocals. However, if you really listen to the song, you have to see the humor in it. Sure, there are some Cookie Monster vocals in the background, but it's only one word: "GRANDPA!" To me, it seems more satirical than it does any serious attempt to introduce shouted vocals into a song.
This is a really solid EP of seven songs. In the Whale is a band that believes in energy and volume - and those are never bad things. If you're a fan of loud rock and roll duos like Not in the Face, this album will fit really well into your collection.
Contact me if you would like to be considered for an upcoming edition of Schwindy's indie music spotlight.
PO Box 2070, Mission Viejo CA 92690