REVIEW: Whirr – ‘Sway’

whirr sway

Artist: Whirr
Album: Sway
Genre: Shoegaze
Label: Graveface Records

Whirr is a band that does not give a fuck. Traversing their Facebook page at any given moment is always an interesting endeavor, and exploring their newest album Sway is of the same caliber.

Like their shoegaze brethren Nothing (Whirr singer/guitarist Nick Basset plays bass in Nothing), the band has created a massive punch of sound that crunches immediately with the start of “Press.” Pounding drums, reverberating guitars, and a subsequent wave of distortion, Whirr set the tone with haste.

You are sure to find the typical shoegaze soft-spoken delivery of vocals on Sway, though the vocals take a backseat to the atmospheres resonating throughout the work. Guitars sway out of bounds, dancing with bends, static, and illumination. The drums and bass keep the tracks together, which gives way for the guitars and vocals to bleed out onto the listener.

While each track is of the same environment, each piece speaks out in given moments, separating them from the sparse sound featured throughout. Third track “Dry” ends with massive triumph, one that I wished would continue on, but that is the thing about Sway; each outburst may come suddenly and quickly, though it is sure to leave its mark as you continue to listen on.

“Clear” is a brooding track that is reminiscent of the Around EP, a personal favorite from last year. Thundering drums keep the track held together as the guitars break the atmospheres as if they were reaching into deep space. “Clear” is the perfect track to get lost in, for each listen rewards new exploration and investigation.

“Heavy” is another standout from the work. A track that feels more collected than the others, “Heavy” is a welcomed followup to the drastically open and sparse “Clear” that preceded it. Containing vocals that follow more of a dream-pop vibe, “Heavy” is the perfect mid-album collection of consistent rock to get you grounded halfway through the ear-destroying work.

The remaining three tracks of the album provide more consistency in Whirr’s ability to craft wonderfully alluring and rewarding shoegaze songs, with “Lines” and “Feel” closing the record out stupendously. Like “Heavy,” “Lines” is a collected pop outing that contains a concise approach, with the melodies experienced sure to remain in your head. “Feel” closes Sway with some of the best guitar work of the piece, and instills the monotone atmosphere of noise that Whirr is so good at executing.

Because of its lush atmospheres and variability in simplicity, Sway will surely resonate widely with listeners. The most important aspect of the work is to understand that Whirr has created a vast soundsphere that will pound, drive, illuminate and destroy your ears and emotions as you work through it. Sway is a heavy piece of art, be it sonically or thematically, and while it does show itself as monotonous at times, it does not hurt or hinder the material, for Whirr do what they do exceptionally well.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by Drew Caruso — Follow him on Twitter.

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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