News! Or, The Whale to Release New Album this September
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"Voices everywhere, caught again in the devil's snare," belts lead vocalist and guitarist Alex Robins of San Francisco-based Or, the Whale on the second song of the band's newest album. The song, "Datura," is a rollicking ode to the hallucinogenic properties of jimson weed, but could just as easily be a description of the band itself. The soaring vocal harmonies and Neil Young-inspired guitar riffs found on Or, the Whale's self-titled sophomore album yield a fiendishly potent listening experience, which may even provoke your own hallucinations.
On the heels of 2007's Light Poles and Pines (which featured the band's debut single "Call and Response" and helped earn them a 2008 Hollywood Music Award for Best Americana/Roots Artist as well as a coveted spot on Radio & Records Top 100 Americana Artists of 2008), Or, the Whale cannot so easily be pinned down. Tracks like "Black Rabbit," which features a gale-force chorus above electric feedback and pounding drums, play out as if in an effort to prove just how hard the band can rock. At other times, as on "Never Coming Out"-a paranoid and agoraphobic rail ride that explodes into a final a capella starburst-Or, the Whale showcases their ability to present a reflective, stripped-down arrangement (no small feat for a band with seven members). Likewise, the creeping "Keep Me Up" shows how Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" might sound if re-imagined through the mournful wail of pedal steel.
Or, the Whale is a band that will rock you, make you dance, and maybe even inspire you to contribute to their amazing vocal pyrotechnics-voices everywhere, indeed.