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March 1, 2024

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Unexplained Joy Hydroplaning On A Sea Of Disaster (Whaleman)

By: Gary "Pig" Gold

The ever-allusive Whaleman, he of the E-bowed bass guitar prowess, goes most uncharacteristically "pop" on this, his third collection of Whale Music, Canada-style.

Although the accompaniment is as dreamily spooky as always (the majority of tracks herein seem built upon beds of low, rumbling, severely-pitched-down guitars), it's the vocals over-top, shared with drummist William Becker, that make this disc all the more intriguing. Hitherto considerably far too cool for words, Whaleman's newest songs lyrically veer wildly from travelogues ("Lakeshore Road") and Brian Wilsonesque cooking lessons ("Into The Blender") to Alanis goes underwater ("Scary Mary") and even a LOVE SONG ("I'm Commin Back", [sic]), dammit!

Oh, but just when you fear Our Hero may be headed forever into BoyBandLand, the wondrous "Fallen Anchor" concludes it all in typically fashion: like the swirling, uneasy score for some shelved PBS Television nature-special-gone-all-wrong, it provides a deeply moving end-piece to this entire envelope-tearing journey in sound.

Quick! Someone give this man some work composing for David Lynch movies fer gosh sake, will ya?!!

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