North Carolina indie-pop/rock/reggae outfit Whoop drops their sophomore album, Just What?, via Porcelain Records.
Vocalist Fal shares, “Music is supposed to bring people together, shake things up, cause a ruckus, and make a mark. I always want Whoop to leave a lasting impression in someone’s mind/heart/ears.”
Formed in 2020, Whoop is made up of Fal (vocals), Nick (bass), Will (drums), and Steve Bigas (guitar).
Talking about Whoop’s creative process, Nick explains, “We normally start with a single idea, whether it be on bass, guitar, or drums. “We build off of that until it evolves into a vibe. Fal then takes that vibe and sings the first thing that comes to mind. Later, we chop up the best parts to form outlines for songs.”
Encompassing nine tracks, Just What? begins with “Rise Up,” rolling out on gritty, punk-flavored guitars atop an edgy rhythm as Fal’s filtered vocals imbue the lyrics with delicious, almost tinny, tones.
Highlights on the album include “The Way,” blending brass, Fal’s smoky, sensuous vocals, and a funky rhythm into a big, rowdy tune. A personal favorite because of its heady pop-punk textures merged with hints of reggae, “Explanation” is both raw and polished, full of reckless dynamism.
“Time Machine” travels on jangly-lite guitars riding a taut, finessed rhythm. Fal’s voice, at once dreamy and exuding tints of riot grrrl timbres, infuses the lyrics with exotic, platinum colors. Dark and slinky, “Here” opens on an oozing bassline and then flows into strident guitars and Fal’s voluptuous voice, displaying residual urgency.
The last track, the title track, features a surf-rock intro, followed by jarring, surging guitars, giving the tune suggestions of Jimi Hendrix, yet more angular and serrated – like psych-rock on steroids.
Just What? is excellent. In fact, it’s one of the most innovative and worthwhile albums released so far this year. Don’t miss this one.