The Whiffs – s/t LP (Drunken Sailor Records, 2018)

The Whiffs are a powerpop combo from Kansas City, mate. Which is apparently in Missouri, and not Kansas. Who knew? Not me, clearly!! This s/t LP release is a remastered version of the original release, Take A Whiff! (which came out on cassette through High Dive Records in 2017).

I’ve been blasting this for a good couple of weeks now, and I was wondering this morning if by this point if my brain had reached saturation point with powerpop releases. The thing is, I can’t offer a definitive answer to that ultimate of brainteasers.

If I’m honest, there’s nothing particularly memorable about this record, but I do seem to be regularly teetering on the brink of total exhaustion these days, so it could be purely a symptom of that. I dunno. Maybe it just gets a bit lost amongst a plethora of undeniably great powerpop (and related) releases on Drunken Sailor (there’s been a lot of them, many from Canada, many not, such as Fashionism, First Base, Corner Boys, Cheap Whine, Kuken, Booji Boys, Hakan and more).

However, whenever I put this on, I seem to forget about my perception of this as unmemorable. In all honesty, I just feel a bit fucking confused, mate. Because this is undeniably a good record, and has all the hallmarks of decent powerpop. It’s upbeat musically, with downbeat lovelorn and careworn lyrics, it’s jangly and hooky by equal measure, and the vocal is clear and breaks just where and when you’d want it to. I suppose I just don’t find it to be anywhere approaching as addictive as some of the aforementioned records. And yet, I thoroughly enjoy listening to it. Every time I put it on. There’s nothing not to like about it in fact.

This rates as a very perplexed 7/10 from Tony of Nurgle. If you are well into your powerpop ala Elvis Costello (or if you are just curious), you can check this out in the bandcamp player below:

You can get this from Juice at Drunken Sailor on pink or black vinyl

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, recently returned to Yorkshire and residing in Leeds (after close to a decade living in exile in Croydon and South East London). He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also several years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - next event at Retro in Manchester on 07/09/2019. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, occasionally skateboarding, always exhausted, often reading books with maps in the front.

One comment

  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    Great tunes

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