Sometimes a band wears its influences on its sleeve. Sometimes it
hides them deep under the covers, hoping no one finds out from where
they derived all of their great ideas. Whirlaway have no fear
about telling you where their roots lay. These lads obviously grew
up listening to the same music I did. Ride, Catherine Wheel,
Kitchens of Distinction, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine,
The royalty of the "shoegaze" scene. It
really shows. But rather than just regurgitate what they've heard,
Whirlaway takes the sound, masters it, and makes it their own. The
songs on Pompano are full of references to the past masters
of the genre without seeming contrived or unimportant.
"Walkthrough" opens the record in a wash of Ride-inspired
wall of guitar noisiness, with just enough of its own voice to distance
the song its obvious origins. From there the album moves in its own
distinct direction, drawing less upon mimicry and more upon originality
subtly influenced by the past. Adam Rosenberg's vocals are
clear and add a rich layer to the textures of the song, without becoming
lost as just another instrument. So, Whirlaway has carefully avoided
one of the major pitfalls of the majority of traditional shoegaze
music right off, recording lyrics you can actually understand. "Strangeplanes"
is a more pop-centric number, really showcasing the abilities of the
band as songsmiths. Even the songs that drift into six-minute-plus
drag-outs are not hard to listen to, filled with clever hooks and
tones to keep the ear interested. Whirlaway use as many effects as
you would expect from a band with a list of influences such as they
have, but they do not overdo it at any point. Each guitar part is
separate, each keyboard line of value in the overall composition of
the particular song. The songs on Pompano are brilliant and
well arranged, making for a cohesive and enjoyable listen.
When did they start making music like this in Florida? And here I
thought it was all just acoustic college rock down there
5. What I See
6. Gone By Now
7. On My Way
8. The Blinded
9. Idiot Song
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