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Album Review: The Whip – Wired Together

In 2008 The Whip released their debut album ‘X Marks Destination’. Aiming to merge dancefloor friendly beats with ‘alternative rock’ amid the last gasps of what was called ‘nu rave’, it attempted to capture the zeitgeist. The result was an album that sounded like a New Order B-sides collection, without the wide-eyed wonderment that band did so well.

‘X Marks Destination’ was made in the shadow of bands like The Rapture and Klaxons. Yet The Whip always seemed to have more of an eye for the dancefloor than the indie scene; they were more polished and pragmatic, less scratchy and ramshackle.

With ‘Wired Together’, the follow up to their ‘X Marks Destination’, they maintain their dancefloor focus – in fact they take it up a notch. And it’s the moments when they stop attempting to be ‘indie’ and focus on the ‘dance’ that the record works best.

I’ve been told The Whip are a band you need to experience live to fully appreciate; that until you’ve watched them get a crowd swaying as one does on a sweaty dancefloor, you don’t get the full effect.

I can believe it. ‘Wired Together’ has the flow of a night out. The band work their way through the gears – the album grows, tempos rise and tracks build momentum until the final dreamy comedown.

Jagz Kooner produced the album and together they have attempted to broaden their sound, focusing on a more lyric based version of the template they created on their debut.

That means that the sound is similar to the debut – it’s dancey, it’s ravey and you can still hear the Hacienda influence in their synth-heavy anthems as they build it and break it down. This time though there are more lyrics and an attempt at a narrative.

Unfortunately, lyrics are not the band’s strong point. Carter’s vocals are a weak point. ‘Metal Law’s’ banal refrain of ‘Get up, go to work, do the gig, go to bed’ demonstrates that we are not dealing with a Morrissey. Yet the way that track builds with its wonky buzzsaw keyboard line is impressive. ‘Masters Of Ceremonies’ tries to tackle the topic of love but it does so with very little incision. Musically though its insistent beat makes it one of the best songs here.

‘Intensity’ is another stand out with its slinking, jittery electronics while ‘Slow Down’ is the come down, soulful and echoing as Carter sings ‘we drift into the night.’ However, by the time the track ends you’re left with a fun album but one that will be immediately forgotten after listening to it. It lacks the depth and artistry or enough interesting ideas to demand your attention.

-Danny Wright



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