EP REVIEW | Whales – The Music Of Sound.


ARTIST: Whales

RELEASE: The Music Of Sound

RELEASE DATE: 01/01/16


So far, 2016 has thrown up some fantastic releases (some out of left field) & some from well established underground shoegazing & psych acts from within the underground shoegazing / psych fraternity. This year is proving to be a prolific year for new bands too! Chicago based noisy shoegazers ‘Whales’ are no strangers to the underground shoegazing scene. Established in 2009, their first release surfaced back in 2011 & they have releasing music steadily since then with no fewer than seven previous releases before this this latest three track EP entitled ‘The Music Of Sound’. What they collectively create is melodic, 90’s sounding, noisy, soaring shoegaze with intensely fragile but beautifully produced vocal arrangements. They are made up of: Mike Janas – Bass, Maigin Blank – Guitar & Vocals, Ryan LaGasse – Guitars, Randall S. Murphy – Drums & Matt Engstrom -Keyboards. This lastest three track EP ‘The Music of Sound’ is available right now to buy/download via their bandcamp page www.whalesmusic.bandcamp.com


The EP opens up with a stunningly impressive shoegazing masterpiece! The effortless ‘Birthmark’ begins with a shimmering reverberating guitar pattern, before that rather 90’s sounding but unbelievably addictive drum pattern shuffles into the sonic arena with aplomb. We are treated to something truly special when that beautiful vocal line hits, courtesy Maigin Blank, accompanied by the stunning collective instrumentation as we’re catapulted into a hazy, dreamy world of heavenly, uplifting shoegaze! Track two ‘Blue’ quickly arrives on a wavy cloud of melodic guitars before that stunning dreamy vocal line addresses the sonic imbalance. The steadying drum progression firmly fixes everything to the earth and in turn allows the track to soar on a jet stream of beautiful vocals & explosive guitars. Another stunning piece of music. Bravo to ‘Whales’ for reaffirming my belief in our modern day underground shoegazeing scene. The EP’s closing track entitled ‘Strange Connection’ begins with tinkling fret noise before opening up musically into a classic alt-shoegazing affair but its the arrival of those impressive vocals that transforms this track into something different altogether. Vocally, I’m hearing Lush, Bleach & modern day Irish based experimental shoegazers Elastic Sleep all swirling around within a whirlwind of sound, whilst musically ‘Whales’ have that overall ‘complete’ sound that I cannot fault at all.  This release epitomises why I love underground shoegaze & its many sub genres. 

‘The Music Of Sound’ is refreshing & new sounding but harks back, at times, to the first wave (late 80’s early 90’s) of shoegazing. It’s an EP that should grace the music collection of any true shoegaze/noise pop fan and I for one will be returning to it again & again. Simply Stunning! 








Del Chaney

Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm – Primal Radiohas gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.

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