Reviews:: The Whitsundays Saul

When I first got my hands on the debut LP by Edmonton’s The Whitsundays, I was swept up in their gentle, sunshine filled wash of psychedelia. Despite the expectations I had - Paul Arnusch also plays in The Faunts and Shout Out Out Out Out, so naturally I assumed the record would sock me in the jaw with sweaty, noise laden, dance punk anthems and distortion - the subtle touches of The Zombies inspired record grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.


The band have just released their latest LP, Saul, and although Arnusch holds onto his love of UK inspired pop, the record ventures in much more experimental directions. Obviously, after holing up in his basement for the cold winter months, Paul was pushed from his comfort zone. Songs like Let’s Be Bored and I’m Starting to Bend still showcase sun-kissed melodies and relaxing backing vocals but as computer blips bubble to the surface of the melody of the former and what can best be described as a sonic submarine ripples through the latter, you realize Saul is a lot more interesting. The entire record is full of interesting textures, nuances, sound effects and unexpected turns.


What I loved before - the simple, straightforward melodies that dominated the self-titled debut - are now the exceptions. Silent in the Wind starts as a whimsical escape, but slowly the band adds heavy guitar, swirling vocals and the song gets darker and incredibly haunting (No, not in that overused blogging standard, “hauntingly beautiful”, I mean down right creepy and tortured). I Can’t Get Off Of My Cloud adds muscle and energy as the band creates a stormy haze that shows yet another wrinkle to Arnusch’s writing. Without question Paul has grown from the success of the last LP. He’s taken melodies that seems familiar and comforting and broken apart the structure to leave the listener guessing. He still writes beautiful songs - How Long Will You Go On shimmers - but offers more diverse emotions and a deeper experience. Basically, it’s everything you want from a sophomore record.


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MP3:: The Whitsundays - Silence in the Wind


This entry was posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 8:43 am and is filed under Canada, Edmonton, Music, Reviews, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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