LITANY FOR THE WHALE (Dolores) MCD
California's LITANY FOR THE WHALE show with their debut EP what can happen if you mix the brute heaviness of later Neurosis with the vulnerability of mid-1980's DC hardcore punk. The result is heavily energetic and the band has done tremendously well. 'Dolores', released in 2010 by Teenage Disco Bloodbath Records, is a a cohesive and pummeling assault from start to finish, but a few quieter moments ensure greater variety. In this regard, particularly noticeable is the sixth track 'Philistines', but also 'Lonesome God' that includes a gentle and almost psychedelic passage. Also worthy of mention is the opening track 'Sleep' who paves an unsettling way into a dark and abrasive album, 'A Wake' is propelled by heavily distorted, filth-inducing buzzsaw guitars and deft, walloping drums. The listener is engulfed in wave after wave of furious, visceral aggression and desperation.
'Dolores' achieves a considerable level of intensity throughout the entire playing time of 23:13 minutes, and just begs to be listened to all the way through not only because a few of the seven tracks are linked to one another. LITANY FOR THE WHALE never sound like a product of studio perfection - every song here is brimming with live energy and genuine urgency. The wealth of texture is impressive and here are plenty of moments when suddenly a song changes in an unexpected direction. This four guys also prove they aren't afraid to incorporate acoustic guitars, xylophone, noise and feedback if necessary. I have no idea if LITANY OF THE WHALE respresent the future of hardcore punk, but I know for sure that 'Dolores' is an extraordinarily powerful and intense debut. Even greater that the CD comes in a nice six panel digipack case, including all lyrics.