Whales in Cubicles – Death in the Evening // Album Review

whales in cubiclesClub The Mammoth // Feb 10th

Since releasing their debut single back in 2012, East London outfit Whales in Cubicles have since been carving a niche in the UK’s music scene with their hybrid blend of indie rock. Mixed by Simon Barnicott ( Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Placebo) and recorded the Welsh Monnow Valley Studio, their highly anticipated debut album ‘Death in the Evening’ is a charming and engaging journey through Pixies and Pumpkins – tinged indie rock.

Opener ‘Yesterday’s News’ makes for a roaring take off; crashing guitars and a surly bassline which builds up to a shredding guitar riff before another half-melodic choral burst cuts in. From the offset ‘Death in the Evening’ contains elements of a classic 90’s indie rock album; anthemic and melodic in all the right places. Where the Whales differ however, is their ability to build on the unexplored; there’s elements of Britpop and grunge, combined in a current and powerful single output.

Breakthrough single ‘We Never Win’ – released through Young and Lost Club in 2012 – comes next; an instantaneously gentler amble into rock territory. Drums pitter-patter as opposed to clatter, the vocals are raw and adorned with emotion and even when the soundscape builds, keys sparkle in the background.

Latest release ‘All The Pretty Flowers’ is a definite album highlight; the simmering arrangements, delicate melodies and subtle melancholy of the vocals lean towards the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, maybe even Death Cab, whilst ‘Golden Medal’ delves into murkier depths toying with pulsing, thrashing guitars juxtaposed with a lofty Matthew Bellamy-esque vocal towards the end.

The Pumpkins theme continues on ‘Across America’- a blisteringly anthemic head-rocker of a track which will no doubt prove a favourite on their bill of live shows in the coming months. Elsewhere, there are appearances from previous releases ‘Nowhere Flag’ –it’s whooping, sing-along chorus proving another album highlight, and ‘Disappear’- a pounding, whirling, guitar led slice of indie rock.

With a debut album which ranges through gushing and melodic indie gems to surging, powerful anthems, the Whales are track by track proving that guitar music is most certainly alive and kicking.

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Buy: Wales in Cubicles – Death in The Evening

Live: Hoxton Bar and Kitchen – February 13th