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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, Lush… 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…

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Walkthrough
2. Without/Within
3. Strangeplanes
4. Drones
5. What I See
6. Gone By Now
7. On My Way
8. The Blinded
9. Idiot Song
10. Tumble


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