Back in the late '70s and early '80s Manchester, England became the
commercial hub for a style of music that fused the ethereal fumes
of shoegaze and the spiraling synths of new wave with club-stoked
beats, and the music press dubbed it the "Manchester sound."
It's a sound that still flourishes in the metropolis today, and The
Whip is the city's latest manifestation. Comprised of Bruce
Carter, Danny Saville, Fiona Daniel, and Nathan
Sudders, The Whip have the wavy atmospherics of Bryan Ferry's
Roxy Music with the palatial ethers of the Doves, the
space age grottoes of Hundred Year Storm and the club-laced
grooves of Bauhaus. The quartet's latest canon is presented
on their record X Marks Destination. The band minces liquid
tones with techno-pop organisms producing a glossy magma constituted
of Goldfrapp-stylized pulsations exhibiting both playful and
The tracks scale along cavernous trenches and lofty crests creating
an oasis of flaccid motions and fibrillating strands. The fluorescent
streaks of "Fire" are cropped in heavy dance beats shrink-wrapped
in synthetic effects like Stereophonics. The techno-pop rays
of "Trash" produce a stream of cyborg-like bleeps and pixie-stick
puffs, which slide into the silky melodic ripples of "Frustration."
Surging club beats are chained to satiny synth whippings through "Save
My Soul" and shoegazy flickers along "Sirens." The
ravines and cliffs made by the space age effects shooting across "Dive
Bomb" are push-pinned in robotic sprigs, which turn into a zigzagging
pattern through "Blackout." The electro-pop odyssey that
cascades across "Muzzle #1" and "Sister Siam"
are infested with dazzling psychedelics, while the shapeless sonic
figments of "Dubsex" have a soft bellowing echo as layers
of club-vibed synths move with an ameba-like sliver.
The Whip revive a style of music that still has relevance today,
not only in Manchester, England but everywhere. X Marks Destination
is playful and sophisticated, and demonstrates The Whip's finer qualities
for shoegaze infused club-pop. The band's album is more in the vane
of honoring the Manchester sound and less about being innovative and
making something new for listeners. Still, it fits in with club music
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