Posted by: will | November 2, 2006

White Whale…

White Whale “WWI” (Merge)

Buy it at Insound!

There was a short-lived Kansas City band that I really enjoyed called The Higher Burning Fire. The band released one album (2000’s In Plain Song) before flickering out. So, it was with great excitement that I was introduced to White Whale. White Whale is a brand new KC band which includes 3 members of The Higher Burning Fire as well as Matt Suggs of Butterglory and Robert Pope of The Get Up Kids. With the pedigree involved one would expect a strong affair. WWI lives up to that promise quite well.

The infectious “Nine Good Fingers”, which boasts a huge anthemic chorus, is a boisterous start to the album. The band flexes their musical muscle here and you can tell you are in for quite a treat. Suggs and band don’t slow it down a bit on the following track, “O William, Oh Sarah” which is one of the WWI‘s strongest tracks. Unfortunately, at plus seven minutes the band lets the song run on a little too long. It becomes clear on the Saddle Creek influenced “The Admiral” that White Whale will only go as far as the impassioned vocals of Suggs will take them. He proves here that he’s quite capable of carrying the load though and the band sounds resilient behind him. As good as the first three tracks are, there does seem to be a slight let down in the next three tracks. However, the band rebounds with the eerie and downtempo songs “Forgive The Forgiven” and “Fidget and Fudge” which recall the expansiveness of latter day Cursive somewhat.

Overall, WWI is full of highs and medium lows. The strength of the album’s first three songs unfortunately lends itself to being somewhat disappointed in the rest of the record. That’s a shame though as their is certainly a lot of good stuff going on here. You can tell that White Whale is a band of seasoned musicians who know what they are doing. Give these guys some more time and we might just have a bonafied indie rock super group on our hands.

RIYL: Cursive, The Arcade Fire, Okkervil River


White Whale – The Admiral (mp3)

White Whale – Nine Good Fingers (mp3)



  1. I liked “What’s an Ocean For” very much.

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