The first time I tried broccoli rabe I absolutely hated it. So ten years later when I saw it cooked in another way I thought I’d try it again and that maybe I would enjoy it this time around because it was prepped differently with more ingredients. Turns out I was wrong. So why is that that when I heard Grand Rapid’s Whirlwind Heats debut Do Rabbits Wonder and was utterly repulsed that I though they could turn it around with their most recent release Types of Wood? Maybe it’s because my mother dropped me on my skull when I was three moths old, or merely that I had a small shred of hope for these guys. The one thing that burns ones ass right off the bat is that Whirlwind Heat’s lead singer David Swanson is a Moog player. A fucking Moog, people!!! And still it sounds bland. A good Moog is either a costly and/or a hard find so maybe he should have his confiscated.
Types of Wood sounds as if Pavement made an album and just didn’t care and/or lacked the effort. Swanson’s vocals are smarmy and disobedient while Steve Damstra’s bass wobbles in the same manner. The only moment of this album that illuminates is with “Gene Pool Style,” an in depth account about a trip to the sperm bank. From there on out Whirlwind Heat may sound like the anti-hipsters, but the feeling doesn’t last long, because it seems as if the band is jaded for the sake of being jaded. Numbers like “Up Tight” and such just drag on an on and on as Swanson just banters aimlessly. The only point to where they can get remotely fired up is with “Slugger.”
Even with the Moog prominent in the mix, the only elements that stick out are the bass playing and drummer Brad Holland’s tapping. Minimalism can be a good thing but a lot of artists (like, say…Whirlwind Heat) seem to think that such an approach can be a substitute for some necessary innovation. They’re approach toward making music is a lot like A.J. Soprano’s approach toward life, which is passionless and boring. When you play like you sound bored, you are going to sound boring. Types of Wood is a lot like Taco Bell’s menu—it’s all the same thing, just re-shaped and re-flavored. But in the end you can tell it’s the same.
Similar Albums (to get instead of this):
Brainiac – Bonsai Superstar
East River Pipe – Poor Fricky
The Fall – Dragnet