By Chris Pacifico

Side project or a super group? Such is not determined, but the listeners can decide for themselves. Lawrence, Kansas's White Whale features vocalist Matt Suggs of Butterglory, bassist Rob Pope of mope masters The Get Up Kids, as well as John Anderson, Zach Holland, and Dustin Kinsey of The Higher Burning Fire. They come from a state of being where they're not in Kansas anymore, Toto, as their debut release is epic, dramatic, and cinematic but not too much. They obviously contain the Peter Pan complex of the Arcade Fire while coming off as if it was the Decemberists who made OK Computer while on a field trip to The Village Green Preservation Society.

"O'William, O'Sarah" is a seven-minute-plus passage down a lane of mood swings that remains rousing and rollicking with its fuzzy organ lines. "The Admiral" is like a heavy chamber pop amelioration given to a Gilbert and Sullivan tune with a hair-raising choral breakdown, while the deep-water ambience that floods numbers like "I Love Lovely Chinese Gal" makes it seem as if White Whale has just stumbled upon the lost kingdom of Atlantis. "What's an Ocean For" is rather quaint in the manner in which it galvanizes the listener as "We're Just Temporary Ma'am" is tantamount to a crescendo sea chantey that a crew of tipsy nineteenth century sailors would sing around a bottle.

Be it instrumentally or vocally, WWI is delivered with tepid fervor on all fronts. It's the end of the world as White Whale knows it, but they feel fine, Matey.

JamBase | Kansas
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[Published on: 9/21/06]

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roco starstarstarstarstar Sun 9/24/2006 06:09PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

nice one