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Whirlwind Heat - Types of Wood

Whirlwind Heat, Types of Wood

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

HOT on the heels of Whirlwind Heat’s impressive Reagan EP comes their new album, Types of Wood which sadly fails to fulfil the potential of that mini-album.

Whirlwind Heat are three kids from Michigan who caught the eye of Jack White four years ago.

They were considered way ahead of their time when they released the frenetic thrash punk-funk album, Do Rabbits Wonder in 2003, not to mention the 10 songs in 10 minutes mini-epic, Flamingo Honey 12 months later.

But their off-kilter, leftfield sound quickly becomes tiresome during the course of an 11-track album.

Inspired by the crisp drum sounds on Cake’s Fashion Nugget, the Heat reportedly drove cross-country to Paradise Studio in Sacramento to work with Kirt Shearer and Craig Long on Types of Wood and the result is a weird hybrid of Cake with the angular guitars of Franz Ferdinand thrown in for good measure.

That’s not to say that every track fails. Reagan, the title track of the EP, remains a cool exercise in White Stripes-inspired rawness, complete with enough angular guitar riffs to have the Franz boys drooling.

But where the EP mixed styles up a little and generally succeeded, the album gets a little bogged down in monotony.

Gene Pool Style is pure Cake mixed with a little Beck, complete with surreal lyrics such as ‘I dropped my pants and started to dance’ and ‘thought about selling my testosterone, girls have beautiful hormones, asked my doctor what I should do, he said sperm is sold for a dollar or two’.

Captain Cave is delivered in a lazy drool with mininal beats that struggles to find any rhythm whatsoever, while the tediously fuzzy Umbrella People is clearly striving for a Beck-like cool without ever coming close.

Of the tracks that work better, The Sun Is Round feels a little more melodic and contains some more straightforward indie sensibilities, while French drops in some nice horns for a suitably Euro vibe.

But such moments are all too infrequent and the result is something of a disappointment from a band that’s supposedly on the rise.

Track listing:

  1. Air Miami
  2. Reagan
  3. Gene Pool Style
  4. Up Tight
  5. Captain Cave
  6. Slugger
  7. Umbrella People
  8. Sun Is Round
  9. French
  10. My Electric Underwear
  11. Nylon Heart