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One of the beautiful things about rock music is that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time – simply understanding a style and doing it well is enough. For Whirr, that style is psychedelic shoegaze pop. The California sextet follows a familiar formula on Pipe Dreams – dreamy, almost achingly sweet melodies sung in cotton candy voices and drowning in enough distortion and reverb to clog a jet engine. Nothing new, really, but this is a band that knows exactly how to balance ear-catching accessibility with thick clouds of six-string noise. The group is clearly as comfortable with the shimmering pop of “Toss” and the dreamy balladry of “Wait” as with the creamy grunge of “Flashback” and the full-throttle blast of “Home is Where My Head Is.” Smart enough to include both an acoustic pop song (“Formulas and Frequencies”) and an instrumental coda (“Reverie”) as palette-cleansers, Whirr doesn’t bother with innovation and just concentrates on getting Pipe Dreams oh so very right.
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