Although there’s something to be said about the lyrical lashing that Whoop dishes out in their new album, titled simply Whoop, songs like the bashful “Demons” don’t need a heavy linguistic presence to feel expressive to the audience. From the sizzling strings of “Jaded” to the inelegant swing of “Feel Good,” Whoop are using a lot more than the microphone at their disposal to make a big statement in this LP, and personally, I think that their commitment to going above and beyond where the standard in rock is today isn’t just good for the genre – it’s wholly necessary right now.
The relationship between the vocal and the percussion in “Care,” “Smile,” “What I Want” and “Nash Park” supports a competitive sensibility that does a lot to facilitate the natural chemistry this band has. These aren’t musicians who feel afraid of getting a little edgy with a groove even if it means having to rival each other for space within an arrangement, and rather than sounding like a group of players struggling to find their center, the resulting discord feels more like harmony than it does the pure chaos a lot of other bands would just as soon get lost in.
The hooks in “What I Want,” “Smile,” “Jump” and “Cool” render the verses in each song simplistic but not secondhand, speaking to the poetic nature of the instrumentation more than the actual words being sung, but I wouldn’t say there are any throwaway lines in this album. If anything, there’s a lot of deeper, thought-provoking faceting beneath the lyrics in Whoop’s new album that goes well past what most artists can illustrate inside of a ten-track LP. It’s an ambitious effort, but moreover, I think it’s a nice sneak preview of what they could produce if given unlimited creative control over their work.
This master mix supports the unfiltered stylization of the songwriting epically, and I like that it’s obvious how much Whoop cares about the detail in their music over the decadence of production frills. The first thing I noticed about songs like “Smile,” “Jump” and “Demons” was that while their presentation is polished and made to highlight their best features on the surface level, the substance of the work always remains the priority. If emotion is produced in a harmony, texture and tone become the framework – there is no unwanted fat in this record, which is half the battle most rock bands face when making new content.
There’s still quite a bit of room for experimentation, expansion and evolution within Whoop’s story right now, but I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve got the right idea in this self-titled effort. They’re still pretty raw about some of the melodicism they’re throwing around in this tracklist, but it’s the kind of raw that makes you certain these musicians are dedicated to what they do and not just the idea of what they might score with the right hit on the radio. This is quality songwriting, and it’s coming from a source I think we’re going to hear a lot of good stuff from in the future.