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Whale City


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Performer Notes
  • There's a lot about Warmduscher's music that qualifies it as good-time rock & roll (albeit of a distinctly deviant variety), but there's a whole lot more going on in Whale City. Their weirdly wild 2015 debut, Khaki Tears, set them apart from any standardized classification, and with the follow-up, they certainly continue to plow a furrow as outliers. Nevertheless, this time around there's something boldly catchy threaded into the mix. "Standing on the Corner" opens the record with an infectiously funky bassline and a singalong soul chorus, no less. Equally, the single "Big Wilma" captures the band's weirdo worldview and freakishly irrepressible energy in engrossingly accessible fashion. The track recalls the filthy swagger of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and evokes the humid swamps of America's Deep South more than it suggests the band's London roots. "The Sweet Smell of Florida" proves they are a party band extraordinaire, but while associated acts like Fat White Family exude the grimy grot of underground basement bashes, Warmduscher's festivities have a low-rent, sweat-soaked Vegas vibe. Their Vegas is more closely aligned with Hunter S. Thompson's than with washed-up stars' last-gasp residencies, as suggested by the trippy ditty "Whale City," which delineates the band's thrilling precariousness. They even dip into their very particular brand of sunbaked Krautrock with the snaking guitar and percussive Motorik stomp of "I Got Friends." It's not all ferociously pitched hedonism, as the lilt of the steamily devotional ode "1000 Whispers" attests. That said, somehow vocalist Clams Baker manages a slightly bent angle, giving the sense that nothing is quite as it seems on Whale City. He adopts a strangely sweet falsetto for closer "Summertime Tears," which is coupled with the overall lounge music feel of the track, but even that is delicately twisted by the guitar's warped and wayward wanderings. Warmduscher remain deliciously sordid, yet there's something more approachable about their freakish creations this time around. Don't be fooled, though: To dive into Whale City is to immerse yourself in the stranger side of rock & roll, but it's worth losing your mind over. ~ Bekki Bemrose
Professional Reviews
NME (Magazine) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Like a grime-funk Sin City, WHALE CITY is peopled by a colourful cast of deviants."

Clash (Magazine) - "[T]hey seem to effortlessly turn the romantic sprawling highways of America -- home of frontman Clams Baker -- into wacky, impassioned, guttural, garage rock stompers."
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Item ships from and is sold by Fishpond World Ltd.
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