My name is
Francis Baptiste.
I review new music
every Friday.

Whelming – Settle

Written Friday, July 19

In only four songs clocking in at about twenty minutes, Whelming displays a wealth of diversity and attention to detail, all while maintaining an auditory identity that is unmistakable, a fingerprint characterized by driving grooves, a smooth and gritty vocal range, and a tastefully restrained and apt rhythm section.

Settle presents the listener with all the traditional staples of a rock band but with enough curve balls to keep it new and fresh. The opening track, Somebody Else, rides on an upbeat, driving tempo that will sound both catchy and familiar, but the chord progression and melody are unique. Too often rock music is guilty of playing it safe and standard, especially in melody, and that’s definitely not the case here.

My favourite track on the album is More of What I Have. It’s a song that perfectly sums up Whelmings greatest strengths: their ability to go from belting rock yells to soothing melodies quickly and seamlessly. The range of their versatility really shines in this song as each section changes gear. On top of that singer and guitarist Erik Severinson’s musicianship is on full display on this track, with great guitar riffs that drive the pre-chorus and a truly dynamic vocal performance, which includes the pristine roar of the pre-chorus to the melodic chorus, not to mention the great backing vocals.

The last track on the album, Falling is Easy, is a slow, soaring track. When things slow down all the details come to the forefront, and the production really shines. The way the track builds to the conclusion of the album is very satisfying.

Throughout these four songs, Settle perfectly captures a moment in the evolution of Whelming. What you see is a multifaceted band, one where the rhythm and melody intertwine effortlessly, each complimenting each other without grabbing the spotlight too eagerly. It’s a balanced and mature release, one that feels like a stepping stone to even better things (hopefully a full length album isn’t too far away).

Listen to the album here: