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Blue Whale
Process Brian Coney , January 22nd, 2019 07:32

A genre-mauling, forward-leaping debut from the Belfast band

Blue Whale don’t so much deconstruct the instrumental rock genre as anatomise and re-present it as tumultuous celebration. A re-recording of their first single, the teasing ‘Baby Lost At Sea’, is a bristling and riotous two-minute highlight; live favourite ‘Sexy Sexy’ is a heady salvo of unconventional scales and time signatures; lead single ‘Shortbread Fingers’ forges tight bombast with squalls of riff and groove.

They recently served as Damo Suzuki’s “sound carriers” for a night of fully improvised music in Belfast, and Blue Whale’s knack for extemporisation surfaces on Process, too. Take how drummer John Macormac untangles highlight ‘Radio/Bricks’ via two minutes of rolling toms and rhythmic patterning; just like the locked coil-and-release of ‘Coitus’, or the dual guitar mesh of Michael O’Halloran and Ben Behzadafshar on ‘Intro’, flares of individual inspiration such as this spark from collective discipline. This refined, unserious ingenuity is what sets Blue Whale apart. Fierce and playful, chaotic and under control, Process is a cunning triumph.