Douglas Dare - Whelm

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:2014-05-12

Sometimes reviews just write themselves, you know? But as a good music writer, one should resist taking the easy, lazy route. So I’m not going to end this review by saying that this album underwhelms me. I’m better than that, even though this album isn’t.

Whelm is fucking awful. Its collection of remorselessly turgid, droning, mewing, child-puke balladry is so unremittingly tedious that I actually spent a fair bit of my unhappy listening experience wandering why it’s called Whelm? What is a whelm? What does it mean to be whelmed? If one can be under or overwhelmed by a thing or an experience, then is being whelmed just situation normal, a perfectly standard experience of reality?

Anyway, as I said, this album is total shit. There’s a song on it called ‘Whitewash’, on which Douglas Dare hammers his piano melodramatically and yowels “The whiiiiiiiiiiiitewaaaaaaaaaash!” over and over and over again. It goes on for nearly five minutes and is simply horrible. Every song is like this.

Dare basically wants to be Thom Yorke, you can tell by his decision to marry appalling, curdled-milk warbling with pattering, polite electronics. I find Thom Yorke’s voice, his pretention, his pathetic, solipsistic, middle-class mithering utterly contemptible and skin-crawling, so you can imagine what I think of his second-class imitators.

There really is nothing to recommend this album and if you ever find yourself enjoying it you need to seriously take a long, hard look at yourself and ask where things went wrong. This is music for people who pretend to have a gluten allergy just to get attention. I hate it and it makes me very angry indeed. 

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