Music Reviews
Do Rabbits Wonder?

Whirlwind Heat Do Rabbits Wonder?

(Third Man / XL) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10

All questions can be answered on the back of the album with the lowercased words "produced by jack white". Whirlwind Heat are not their own entity, they belong to Jack White. How else would they get a record deal that sees a release on V2 in North America and XL in Europe? White's Third Man Records, which releases The White Stripes albums, has managed to arrange a deal for his proteges similar to his own. Let's face it, any other way and Do Rabbits Wonder? would be just another obscure record by another Detroit band released on a little indie label that no one would ever pick up on.

In all honesty though, it's not all that bad. Whirlwind Heat on paper sounds like a dream come true. A spastic and absurd trio that use Devo as a blueprint, only to throw wild and crazy garage tendencies like a cherry on top to make things a little more interesting. And things do get interesting. Beginning with the way in which they choose to title their songs. Avoiding any real effort, they've coded everything and named each track after a different colour. Good thing this wasn't a double album either, because it looks like they ran into some trouble coming up with ideas after naming one of them Tan (which was called Decal On My Sticker when it appeared on White's Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit compilation in 2001). This refreshing way of avoiding the boring and conventional method of titling songs works in their favour, giving the songs a little more mystery to them, as well as accomplishing something quite unique.

Whirlwind Heat on record are unfortunately not as dreamy. Do Rabbits Wonder? suffers from being too madcap and overenthusiastic. They deserve a round of applause for trying something that Detroit hasn't dealt yet and it sure does beat sounding like another Stooges or Sonics cover band. Yet the Devo meets Mudhoney touch, or the not-so-great impersonation of 90s greats Brainiac, never really hits home anywhere on the record. Lead single Orange revels in inconsistency and too much weirdness for it to be effective in any radio play other than college playlists. Elsewhere, Yellow is a Pixies-infested noodlethon which is the Bizarro World version of Coldplay's hit and Red, which opens with some 80s stadium rock drums, delves deeper and deeper into a pit of insanity with singer David Swanson babbling about "karate chops". Only Purple, which is to be their first video directed by Mr. Amateur Spectacular, Terry Richardson, manages to contain any real traces of melody, though it's done over a very basic backing track which features only bass and drums, and okay, an occasional tambourine.

Whirlwind Heat manage to pull off something the press hasn't grabbed a hold of yet, which is a bonus for them. But for those who have difficulty trusting the hype, Do Rabbits Wonder? is just too much of a silly mess to really enjoy. With the help of Jack White, Whirlwind Heat may be a surprise hit, but something tells me that we don't have another Electric Six on our hands.