A horrible hack

The Wharves

At Bay

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Gringo
Reviewed by MH on Jun 27, 2015
The Wharves are a London-based trio that I was previously only vaguely familiar with having heard a track on the mixtape that Keroleen Records put out recently. I thought I was going to be writing about an indie rock band partly due to that song but I've got my work cut out here as this is quite unlike anything else I've heard lately. It's the vocals which give this an unusual edge and there is a folk influence particularly noticeable in the dual vocals between Gemma and Dearbhla who lead most of the tracks and wrote most of the tracks. They mix things up a bit too as drummer Marian takes the lead on "Ode - Jimmy" which she sings in French. This one makes me think of Stereolab - partly due to the vocals but also in its hypnotic restraint. There is lots of harmonising in the vocals throughout the record and occasional sparse and more haunting moments as well as some big hooky choruses. Tracks like "Scarlet For Ya" and "By Hook or by Crook" are pretty catchy. The song I like the most is the slower post punky "Turtleneck" but this is a record that's well worth checking out if you want to hear something different and creative. You'll hear the influence of a whole range of bands although they never fall into the trap of sounding too much like any of them individually. It's a good listen.

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