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Friday, January 16, 2015

Wormhole - Chopper

Name: Wormhole (The Wormholes as of 1996)
Album: Chopper (10in EP)
Year: 1995
Style: Alternative
Similar Bands: Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Track Star, Pixies, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine
One Word Review: Slacker-Drone-Rock
Based Out Of: Ringsend, Dublin
Label: Roadtrip, Roadrunner
 Chopper - Cover & Record
Chopper - Back & Record
Chopper (1995)
  1. Leave the Blanket In 3:31
  2. 44 Bulldog 3:35
  3. Soul Searching in the Library 2:41
  4. Little Miss 3:34
  5. New 6:48
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Anto Carroll - Bass, Keys (European Sensoria Band, Memory Cells)
Dave Carroll - Drums, Vox (European Sensoria Band, Phil Alvin, Amygdala)
Graham Blackmore - Guitar
Eamonn Crudden - Recording?, Artwork, Photos
Marc Carolan - Production
Edel - Artwork, Photos
Zak -Artwork, Photos

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of the band, but just from the band name logo, I imagine this to be some sort of heavy hardcore bridging on metal. It looks dirty and sloppy by design, so I at least imagine some grungy sludge. Also, the label is a division of Roadrunner, and although not all their bands are metal-core bands, they do tend to run in that direction. Either way, this is a short EP, and should not be too much of a challenge to get through.

Album Review: So there was not much on Wormhole, but then I discovered that they changed their name to The Wormholes, and a bit more information opened up. They even got back together last month (DEC 2014) to close down one of their locally historic pubs in Dublin, and they have been an active band since.

“Leave the Blanket In” begins with a rubberband bass riff, and gently fades up with ambient fuzz, only to rock out at about 45 seconds. Sludgy alternative guitars lay the groundwork for a droning, brooding rock song with not so much chord changes, as tonal pitch changes. The whining, crunching guitars note changes sound very minor below all the dense fog.
“44 Bulldog” has a great sounding guitar, like Track Star, with a bit of echo, but sounding metallic and crisp. The chord loop is short and catchy. The vocals drone over the guitar, but are barely intelligible, and are exhausted in their delivery. At the chorus, extra fuzzy guitars add to the density. This is a very good slacker pop song. Toward the end of the song, the lead guitar takes some liberties and flourishes, unwinding a bit, but it does not detract from the song

“Soul Searching in the Library” is a bass driven, instrumental quiet pop song as it begins, with a similar musical setting as XTC’s Battery Brides. Metal screeching guitar is present in the background, and it reminds me of the Pixies as well.
“Little Miss’s” percussive tempo is laid down with a tambourine/cymbal cadence, which abruptly stops to allow for distortion of noise and vocals, like a poorly transmitted hand held radio signal. Then the Pavement like vocals kick in with the chugging rhythm guitar. The distortion revisits for a break and brings  the music to a stop. This precession repeats, and the Pavement-esq
“New” starts out like a band warming up for practice, with some miscellaneous sounds and a very garage band style guitar check, which is the opposite of the band’s recorded style. Then the droning guitars kick in and the pained, slacker vocals set in. The lead guitar hook is quite loud, piercing and walks a fine line of annoying. The song progresses itself into a wall of screeching sound and never comes back to the melody. It wavers in and out of audible tension, and then the rhythm guitar comes back with the melody, a bit of vocal and then it crashes into a huge wall of sound, My Bloody Valentine style. The stumbling, hand dragging melody repeats, like some of the fuzzier, noisier Imperial Teen songs, and then it just decides to end.

Stand Out Track: 44 Bullfrog

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