Rapid Fire Reviews: What What What, The Stonewall Vessels, and The Whelmed Records Split

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What What What – Shopping Is a Feeling

What What What is the newest project from Bobby Darling of Gatsbys American Dream. It might have you saying “what!?” considering the fact he dropped the project’s debut album, Shopping Is a Feeling, in October of last year with barely a tweet. The album gives off strong early 2000s indie/garage rock vibes. The lyrics on songs like “Shopping Is a Feeling” and “F***s With You” paired with a robotic, spacey effects throughout almost turns Darling’s vocals into an instrument of their own. Intricacies of the modern age and a love/hate relationship with technology and human interaction are the basis of many of the lyrics. These ideas can be scattered and erratic, but done so purposefully and self-referentially. The energy and intensity of What What What is perfect as we slingshot into spring.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal


The Stonewall Vessels – Through The Weird & Wild

Through the Weird & Wild is as much a statement of the music within the album as it is of the emotional journey listeners go through. The Stonewall Vessels can really be whatever type of band you want them to be. They can make you mosh, they can make you dance, they can make you sing along. They can get your attention, they make you listen, and they can inspire you. The sound this band has been able to craft would feel just as at home in a coffee shop performance as it would in an arena. The linchpin of this is the soaring vocals of Darrion Washington. He is able to control his voice in a way that can seamlessly slip between quite and controlled to belting out raw power. Backing this up are varied instrumentals that encompass nearly every side of the rock genre. Each instrument is given its own time to shine with slick guitar licks, interesting bass lines, and explosive drums. For those uninitiated to the band, “Wake Forest” may be the best example of all The Stonewall Vessels have to offer. For longtime fans, Through the Weird & Wild is a clear step up in the style the band has worked so hard to create.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal


Woolbright/winded – Whelmed Records Holiday Split Vol 2.

The good people over at Whelmed Records released their second annual holiday split, starting the year off solemnly. Woolbright and winded each contributed one original and one cover and boy do they pack a punch. Candice Maritato’s smooth vocals blend in wonderfully with the instrumentation on both of Woolbright’s songs.”23” beautifully details a bond between siblings in a way that will rip your heart out while the cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Passenger Seat” melds the original with the band’s own style in a way that may even surpass the original. winded’s side of the split brings a similar feeling of melancholy, but one that is more stripped down and raw. Their version of Pile’s “Prom Song” nicely reigns in the harshness of the original, taking away some of the dissonance, and in the end making it more accessible.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Scott Fugger / @Scoober1013

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