The Whip – Wired Together (Southern Fried)

September 19, 2011 by  

The Whip are a band who have found themselves at a delicate stage. Back in 2008, their debut album ‘X Marks Destination’ caused something of a stir. The Greater Manchester outfit, who were previously known for dabbling in remixes across the board, enjoyed a flutter of recognition with ‘Trash’. Their bouncy, high-energy second single, which made several advert and videogame appearances, promised – and delivered – an excellent debut record. Now, with their second album, ‘Wired Together’, just around the corner, it is crucial that The Whip match high expectations with more great music.

Thankfully, opening track ‘Keep Or Delete’ squashes immediately every fear of an inadequate second release. With lyrics like “We move on much too fast/nothing these days is built to last” and a reckless beat to match, The Whip cast a steely glare in the face of the doubters as they combine and improve on the finest elements of their first album.

It is their adeptness for creating breathless, contagious beats that prevent these indie Kitsuné favourites (two ‘X Marks Destination’ tracks were featured on Kitsuné maison compilations) from blending into the forgotten fuzz. During the stunning ‘Best Friend’, listeners can between thumps of pressure almost feel the rhythmic thud of a hundred heels on the dance floor. Wonderfully hypnotic, its bends and twists are so murky they make Bruce Carter’s cries of, “I’m gonna be your best friend this evening” sound positively dangerous.

While ‘Movement’ throws off a wobbly start with a steady pace and shrieking ripples, ‘Master of Ceremonies’ follows a creeping build-up with a glistening chorus. It is here, with lashings of measured progression and a distinct awareness of the importance of the brilliant summit that a hefty admiration for New Order pokes through. ‘Secret Weapon’, with its cheeky hooks and a wiggling groove, may prove a little light for the dance fans, but it’s a clear standout, worthy of a least a second listen.

With climaxes that fail to reach first expectations and a pinch too much waiting around, some tracks such as the deceivably titled ‘Riot’ or closing track ‘Slow Down’ don’t work as well as they ought. However, each of the three least pleasing tracks boasts a redeeming quality or two. ‘Intensity’, for example, disregards a slightly messy structure by accompanying a slithering backing track with electronic clangs reminiscent of a mid-eighties Chaka Khan release.

As easy as it is to snatch listens when a band is studio-fresh the first time round, making time for their second effort often proves difficult – a frustrating fact when albums like ‘Wired Together’ climb so gracefully to the next step. But it’s only a matter of time – The Whip will not be ignored.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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