CD Review: Whitley–The Submarine

Whitleysubmarine Whitley
The Submarine
Dew Process
2.5 stars

by Al Kaufman

This sound is going to need its own label soon: electro-folk, folktronica, or techno-Americana. Whatever the case, 23-year-old Aussie Lawrence Greenwood, aka "Whitley," used to be in hardcore bands. Then he saw alt-country singers Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch and his new sound was born.

The Submarine was released a year ago in Australia to great acclaim. Mixed by Jonathan Burnside (Nirvana, Fugazi), it has a certain polished and professional appeal.

What Whitley has done is write some dour folk-country tunes (think Ryan Adams at his most introspective) and back them with some electronic beats. He often brings banjos and dobros to the forefront, usually leading to some pretty results, but there is nothing on here to really grab the listener. Once you wrap your ears around the initial sound, nothing exciting happens for the rest of this rather short (31 plus minutes) CD. This isn't mood music, but it is lacking in hooks. There are some nice harmonies and some lovely instrumentation, but you will remember none of it by the time the music ends.


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