wears the trousers magazine


the whispertown 2000: done with love EP (2009)
September 16, 2009, 8:48 am
Filed under: EP, review | Tags: , , ,

w_lp_whispertown2000_09

The Whispertown 2000
Done With Love EP ••½
Acony

Buoyed by the critical praise for their second album Swim, their debut UK release, The Whispertown 2000 follow it up with a six-song vinyl-only EP (available as a four-song download) that ultimately works better viewed as a bonus for existing fans rather than as an introduction to the band. Perhaps best known as a support act for such indie luminaries as Bright Eyes and Jenny Lewis, the quartet comprising Morgan Nagler (vocals, guitar), Vanessa Corbala (drums, vocals), Tod Adrian Wisenbaker (guitar, drums), and Casey Holden Wisenbaker (bass, guitar, drums) have slowly been building a devoted fanbase for their quirky acoustic-based musings, but the Done With Love EP is unlikely to stir up much excitement in a first-time listener.

The title track begins proceedings on a strong note. A relatively polished mid-tempo number originally included on Swim, it boasts quite attractive, lazy vocals, clean production and interesting use of guitar and percussion before reaching a peak with increasingly urgent, multi-tracked vocals; the song is almost whipped into a frenzy as Nagler demands, “Tell everyone I’m done with love”. A new version of ‘Restless’ from 2006’s Livin’ In A Dream is sparser and more pared-down but the overuse of the “restless” / “breathless” rhyme quickly loses its appeal, and the oddly loping number is bogged down by nondescript strumming. Nevertheless, the phrasing is pleasingly strange and quite arresting, and it doesn’t outstay its welcome at 2:21. The jaunty ‘Hometown’, originally released on a 2006 split single with Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins, is a similar story. Another short and sweet inclusion, it’s nice enough but nothing particularly memorable.

Two previously unreleased songs from the Swim sessions are also included – ‘When The Day Is Done’ and ‘Mexico’ – but sadly neither are of much note. On the former Nagler sounds thoroughly disinterested and the music is bland, while ‘Mexico’, despite some invigorating Spanish pronunciation, is plodding and dull with a complete lack of any sense of dynamics. The highlight, then, is a brilliant Dntel remix of Swim track ‘Atlantis’ – odd and haunting and wonderfully atmospheric, with rubbery and otherworldly synths and electronic effects with squelches and skittering beats. It’s a highly effective mood piece, hypnotic and memorable, and by some distance the EP’s peak from a sonic standpoint. This is the kind of sound that The Whispertown 2000 could do well to emulate on future recordings.

Matt Barton
UK release date: 07/09/09; www.myspace.com/whispertown2000


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