Album review: A Grave With No Name – Whirlpool

A Grave With No Name - Whirlpool

A Grave With No Name - Whirlpool - Credit: Archant

An expansive, eminently enjoyable album taking in a gamut of influences yet managing to sound like none of them.

Recorded over the space of a year in a Hackney studio, frontman Alex Shields and various contributors have created an album of beauty and contrast.

These 14 tracks variously channel shoegaze, stoner and post-rock, psychedelia and downcast folk, yet rarely put a foot wrong.

In Aurora, gloriously slack bass burbles just below a mist of fey, almost androgenous vocals, vanilla synth and occasional guitar jangle.

Fuzzed-up guitar is unleashed on the chorus of quiet-loud-quiet Dig Me Out, a raucous belter that is equalled by Origami’s Dandy Warhols- esque stoner rock, nicely cut against the widescreen, pastoral ‘73.

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The ramshackle, lo-fi drive of Bored Again is great fun and fey vocals, delicate strummed guitar and maudlin violin on Bones become the antechamber for Streams, which builds to a crescendo of sighing melancholia.

Shields somehow works the gentility of Mercury Rev into Grandaddy’s charmingly wobbly execution, then injects Flaming Lips pizzazz. There little not to love.

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4 stars

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