'We'll Get By'
Speakeasy fascination, or arrested development? Or just a plain riot of elliptical wonder?
Availability: 'We'll Get By' is available at http://soundcloud.com/whispery-club
Today has not been a good day, thus far...
and I have been awake only for 5 hours. Between useless employment agencies, not paying me what I have already earned; a government body being typically lacklustre and useless- again stiffing me out of a lot of money. That coupled with the fact I entered my favourite coffee spot this morning, and was greeted by a Germanic table of teenagers, lacking common courtesy. For some unbeknown reason they were bashing on 6 or 7 empty takeaway coffee containers, like some peculiar percussive tabernacle. When the patrons and I had the sheer impudence to glare at them, as if to say that their brand of travelling festivity, was de classe and unwarranted, I was greeted with a cocky smirk. Having been a loyal customer for 3 years, I couldn't well grab them by the testicles and give them a damn good slap. Returning home and facing more annoyance, I decided to immerse myself in the creamy, cosmopolitan splendours of Whispery Club. Before I was condemned to explode like a pigeon filled with rice, I got down to business, and focus on something that actually matters. I will not entirely forgo my ruminations and finger-wagging on the state of music; because today it is as relevant as it was yesterday. The 'band market' is one that has been busting and bursting from the seams, and has been since the '70s and '80s. The ratio of quality to quantity is fungible, with many competitors having a geosynchronous lifespan, burning into the ether, and forgotten about forever. Being, perhaps the most subjective and fickle industries in the world, music have to conform to a lot of high expectation, feint praise and creative recessions. If you think about the band that still exist, and have been going for some years now; it will be a short list. Whether due to acrimonious splits, a natural entropy, or a response to market forces, it is an uncertain life. I guess young blood, fresh ideas and an inherent zeal are the rare spices sought by a rather picky, and some times pernicious, public. Of the current stable, the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead cause the most anticipation and fever in me. Having seen Muse stumble drunkenly one too many times, Soundgarden being shadows of their former self, I am somewhat pinning my lust for the established bands on Homme and his crew, when they return for action in June. Because of this, you are forced to feed your soul any other way possible. Who of the new guard, are really, actually worth your attention?
Having been humbled by a potential vanguard of electricity, I have had good reason to be excited by the band market, once more. From Dead Sea Navigators, through to The Open Feel, there is a lot to get excited about for 2013. It is not just the songs themselves, and any face value that is causing me to smile, but the range of sounds. A vast proportion of the new talent is north of Liverpool, yet the inherited sphere of influence and diverse projectiles being launched are staggering in their scope and confidence. Perhaps with one of the most curious and image-provoking names in history, Whispery Club, leave everything to the imagination. I'd like to join their club, but would probably be castrated and cast asunder for being 'too damn quiet'. Aside from the likes of The Proclaimers, Deacon Blue, Annie Lennox and a few other legendary acts, the flapping St. George's Cross has been flying a lot higher than St. Andrew's Cross. I would say that the last notable well-known act from these regions have been Biffy Clyro. I don't care for them (Biffy), but that is for another day. Our three-piece heroes are intent on, and have the quality, to match any band currently circulating social media and the electronic super highway. They are a fresh-faced brethren, with a band photo (on Facebook) that is like the cover of Let It Be, only George's face replaced by the company logo. They claim to be formed from the ashes of an ensemble of Glasgow-based bands, who deftly "beget melody from melancholy". Sounds good, consider yourself up a member. A couple of their photos has them posed like Muse, but unlike the Devon trio, they haven't lost their edge, and will not disappoint with any dubstep misfiring or plastic pretentiousness.
Settling down to investigate 'We'll Get By'; the merry bonhomie that I was hoping was evident from the first few seconds. Any memories of Teutonic apartheid were blown away by the tribal and savage drum slaps that greeted my ears. It is a similar one used during Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols, but more menacing, meaningful and, just plain cooler. It is an impressive power that the likes of Dave Grohl and John Bonham would have started out playing, and sets the mood instantly. There is a bit of danger lurking within the luminous glow, and the rain and wind of percussion, are given breath and light by a rainbow of electric guitar. There is a little bit of a U2 influence, as well as a smattering of indie here and there. It is endeavouring and exploratory, which rouses the senses, and leaves you curious as to what the vocal will sound like. There is a certain breathiness and seduction to the tones. There is a distinct accent that comes through, with a bit of Gorbals and south-west Scotland coming through. Most bands native to certain parts may try to incorporate a trans-Atlantic drawl, or dilute their true voice, in order to seem 'relatable' or polygamous. It is admirable and necessary that Whispery Club are true to their home and roots, as it literally gives them a unique 'voice' and tone, that separates and distinguishes them from peers. The lyrics are delivered with tenderness and consideration; there is no stuttering, over or under annunciation or ululation. When the lines: "The radiator/Melts my shoulder" are sung, it is done so with Socratic reverence and an ellipsis between the lines, as if you let you absorb the images, and feel what the band feel. There is a lot of reading between the lines, tension, and an anonymous female holding our hero's reflection in her Aviator sunglasses. Maybe in the way the band can blend cocktails of poetic imagery with tonics of modern, and hard life, owes as much to the shores of California and New York, as they do to Scotland. There is a small crew of rock and indie purveyors from the likes of San Diego, Manhattan and Burbank, who I know have been writing similar themes; but it is the way that Whispery Club imbue a distinct flavour of Anglo Saxon, that marks them apart from their State Route 1 journeymen rivals. Our protagonist is a modern-day Samson; weighed by the gravity of the world, and not liking it one bit. He is crumbling and thrashing against the waves. In the eyes of his female attention is a mere "child who's lost his mother"; infantilised by a sneering and uncompromising beau. Whether this woman is a former girlfriend, a mate or common muse, she is causing much chagrin. The percussion and guitars never intrude on the moment'; instead keeping the pace charged and exciting, adding coloured feathers to the landscape: little sparks here, considered heartbeats there. It gives a new soul, to an old woe. The sound and sacrament of lyrical and sonic blend, straddles U.S. and U.K. without blurring lines or leaning too heavily on the former. The baroque guitar sparkles have a worthy hint of The Joshua Tree. After the 1:20 mark, there is an extended instrumental break, that has transposed classical influences, as well as shades of early '90s rock pioneering. When the words: "And the kisses we catch/And the kisses we blew" are proffered, aside from some clever wordplay, there is an emotional longing. Our front-man may not show it in his voice, but there is regret and painful reminiscing in his tones. There perhaps is a bit of Biffy Clyro; perhaps unsurprising, as the Biffy boys hail from Kilmarnock, which is about 24 miles away from the shores of Whispery Club. The vocal balance is similar, but our chaps have more restraint and romance in their blood; closer to Crowded House in stylistic terms. As our protagonist crumbles "like a flower", there are nebulas of light and dark in the composition, whilst the vocal remains definitely strong and impressively stoic. There is a defiance that runs through the blood of the song, and positivist spirit amidst the downtrodden memories.
The music of Whispery Club will appeal to those in need of a relief of stress and in need of a burden being lifted, which, if my maths is right, is about 95% of the planet. There have an air of light-hearted happiness to the music. It never intends to overwhelm or be the aggressor. The sound is intended to alliterate preemptively. The vocal hides its scars bravely, but a listen to the lyrics shows that there is heartache lurking beneath the surface. There is emotional upheaval and sadness for sure, but whilst many would emphasise this with moody guitar and pulsating percussion, the boys instead juxtapose the emotions in order to not only poll for a cross border, and mass appeal, but inject intrigue and an added level of quality to the song. The value of great music, is equatable to the ability it has to elevate you from a sour mood, and invigorate and compel you. Having been harangued by a tiny Devil on my shoulder, and generally annoyed by the human population to the point of explosion, I have instead been calmed and softened by the force majeure of spirit here. There is a lot to recommend, from the sharp and unique lyrics that mix modern life fables with ubiquitous romantic thematics. The band are tight and brilliant throughout; never jostling for superiority, instead they are a galvanised unit who unleash maximum velocity and force from a 4-minute track. I would advise a more detailed and studious listen to Whispery Club, as they have produced a variety of songs, with variegated themes and sounds. With future releases imminent, their stock is going to rise, and they will find themselves being references on T.V. soundtracks and mentioned in fervant and excited tones. If you like your music to be thoughtful, intelligent, melodic and memorable...
... you will want to apply for full membership to this fledgling club.