In The Whale ‘Full Nelson’


08_CD_In The Whale

In The Whale

Full Nelson


4 out of 5 stars

In The Whale has reached the pinnacle of the adage “be excellent and be gone.” Their entire discography — four EPs that they’ve released since 2011 — is only 50 minutes long. Or another way to put it; every song they’ve ever released fits onto one single CD.

That hit it and quit it swagger has resulted in a blistering catalog of cathartic punk, rock and borderline metal, and with their latest release Full Nelson, the Denver two-piece of Nate Valdez and Eric Riley have continued their tradition of being loud, awesome and ending their EPs in under 15 minutes.

The band, which uses the self-deprecating website, and actually encourages its fans to say the same, just announced that they would play Lollapalooza 2015. That announcement comes after massive touring over the past year, with a “stupid number of artists that you’d happily phone home about.” Jane’s Addiction? Check. Slash? Yep. Presidents of The United States, Agent Orange, Murder By Death, Local H and Rev. Horton Heat? Yeah, they’ve all gotten that In The Whale stink on them.

Full Nelson — which was engineered at Silo Sound Studios by Todd Divel — isn’t just bombastic power chords though. It starts that way, for sure. Four of the five tracks are like that. “Radio,” “Whiskey, Gin & Beer,” as well as the absolutely brutal “Cavity” show a devilish, even more twisted side of In The Whale’s dark humor and raucousness. In an homage to classic punk tracks “Johnny-Two-A-Day” even features a chanting chorus of ladies screaming “yeah, yeah, yeah.”

Then, on the EP closer, the band throws a left-hook out of nowhere; an acoustic, almost ballady, Johnny Cash-styled track titled “Mail” which features Emily Hobbs of the Denver folk band Poet’s Row, providing back-up vocals.

It’s those twists and turns that keep In The Whale consistently enthralling and more fun than anyone should legally be able to have.

Oh, and they totally suck!


hi-dive| April 3

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