Saturday, May 26, 2012

Whirr - Pipe Dreams

I've had recurring anxiety these past few months due to workload, a tachycardia attack (which biologically means nothing; it was set off by extreme caffeine intake), and a bunch of other stressors. Whirr, and shoegaze in general, saved me from falling into the panic attack/mid-life crisis feel that most people get at some point. Fuck that shit. Seriously.

That's part of the reason I haven't been posting as often, but it's starting to subside as summer is finally hitting me..

Vibrant and flavorful, Whirr's Pipe Dreams conjures up dreamlike sequences and sepia-colored memories. It's everything Neige wishes he could do with Alcest, but that's beside the point that this album is fantastic. I've yet to delve into Whirl but I can only hope their material is as good as this.

Pipe Dreams plays off your past: mostly the good, but also the bad and ugly. There's a good variety in song structuring and styling that lets Whirr cover these crevasses.You've got your upbeat dream-punk riffologies like "Bogus" and "Toss," slow-yet-powerful psychedelia on tracks like "Flashback" and "Hide," and the bad times you just want to forget on "Wait," "Formulas and Frequencies," and album opener "Reverse." You can take your pick from any of them and be enjoyed - even if the memories themselves aren't that enjoyable, although individually I have to say "Formulas and Frequencies" is pretty dull, like a gray mouse huddling in the corner of a room filled with roaring lions. However contextually the song works wonders in conjunction with the rest of the album.

Three guitarists m a shoegaze band works wonders. I have to say the layering and texture of the sound on Pipe Dreams is great. Add in the dreamy, incomprehensible vocals of Alexandra Morte and you have one of the most soothing yet driving releases in recent memory. I know this album oft gets compared to classics My Bloody Valentine but so does all shoegaze, and to be quite honest comparing them is fucking stupid. The guitar tone(s) and songwriting make Pipe Dreams stand out amongst the horde of My Bloody Valentine copycats, although I wouldn't go so far as to call it the most original thing ever created either.

The production is thick and obviously layered to a good degree. The occasional twang of the guitar is heard over layer upon layer of effect and distortion, much like any good shoegaze. The bass is strong as well, and some of the tracks could fit in more with psychedelic/stoner rock. "Hide" is a great example with it's straight eighth note riffs. It's a solid, relaxing listen and a break from the endless grind (and grindcore) I've had to endure recently. Highly recommended.

8.0 out of 10


1. Reverse
2. Junebouvier
3. Bogus
4. Flashback
5. Formulas and Frequencies
6. Home Is Where My Head Is
7. Toss
8. Hide
9. Wait
10. Reverie

Listen to older albums

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