Jump to content


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.