How about dead fucking wood. That’s both a type of wood and a pretty accurate description of Whirlwind Heat. Any lingering doubts that The Heat weren’t just a bunch of Michigan natives benefiting from inexplicable patronage (Jack? Brendan? Why?) is comprehensively banished with this album.
Departing from both the Moog driven noise-a-thon of Do Rabbits Wonder, and the ten songs in as many minutes Flamingo Honey, Types Of Wood arrives instead at the port of sludgy Beck-esque slacker rock. Leaving one to sagely note, you’re all losers baby, so why don’t we kill you?
Wackiness is never something you want from an album, and it’s all you get from this. True, it’s a wackiness that the band would probably like you to confuse with experimental pretentiousnesses, but really Types Of Wood is art-rock performed by a bunch of, like, really ke-ewl frat-boys art-students with too much spare time and an alphabet fixation. Bizarre, admittedly, but the sheer number of occasions Whirlwind Heat resort to reciting their ABCs, most notably on the ‘crazy’ and, er, ‘crap’, The Sun Is Round, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across the Alpha Beta Gamma version of Sesame Street, brought to you today by the beer-bong and the half-naked girl in the bathtub.
So count with me kids, how many half-decent songs? Von! That’s right von! Von half decent song! Ha ha ha! Slugger is ok, David Swanson raising himself from his vocal slumber to sound slightly less like a sedated Julian Casablancas, and more like a just wasted as-per-usual Julian Casablancas, while the rest of the band get on with pushing things onwards at a half decent rate, and everyone is grateful for the small mercy.
Not that it saves it. Not when elsewhere Gene Pool Style’s not even clearing single entendre (“Pulled down my pants / and started to dance”) lyrics actually make you wish that Blink-182 were still running around with their arses out, doing musical versions of dick and fart jokes, while the pile of self-conscious electronic masturbation that Nylon Dream ends on makes you long for the day when men were men, and musicians had guitars on which they played tunes.
Who knows. Maybe it’s a joke. Certainly the way Air Miami manages to sound exactly like DFA 1979 playing in a biscuit tin is pretty amusing, unless you’d actually worked long and hard to save the money to buy this album. Then it’s just plain annoying.
It ends with a “Kapow!”, and you hope that they’ve disappeared. Sadly they haven’t, leaving you to spend the next ten tracks wishing for a chainsaw.