Whirlwind Heat

Jack White is a huge supporter of the Michigan three-piece Whirlwind Heat. High compliment, for sure. But even a thumbs-up from a rock god can reveal his tastes to be flawed. Since 1996, singer and keyboardist David Swanson, bassist Steve Damstra II, and drummer Brad Holland have been churning out rollicking but third-rate minimal punk-funk that's big on rhythms but short on melodies. (It's certainly less exciting than Death from Above 1979, and those guys are a duo.) Heat's elasticity could lend itself to some stylish experimentation live, no doubt. But Swanson's lyrics won't. Assuming the disaffected mumble of Lou Reed to convey the "humor" of Jon Spencer, Swanson's words hint at the misogyny that has always been indie-rock's proverbial elephant in the room. On "Gene Pool Style," he sings, "Thought about selling my testosterone/Girls have beautiful female hormones/Asked my doctor what I should do/Sperm is sold for a dollar or two." This explains why the trio's new album is titled Types of Wood and why the cover image depicts a hipster ingénue licking a baseball bat she should have taken to the Moog that Swanson hardly plays.

 
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