Tonight, Whalers are throwing a release show at Stubbs for their latest EP Bon Vivant. The surf rock 5-piece started up in ’09 and already have a couple EPs and a Daytrotter session under their belts. Not afraid of cranking up the reverb or using nautical imagery, the band has embraced their surf rock sound and run with it. On their previous EPs, the group has demonstrated adeptness in crafting two guitar melodies and fun lyrics. An example of this is on “Cheat On Each Other” off their previous EP Paddle Easy. On this standout track, Gus Smalley, the lead vocalist, rails out the lines: “We always cheat on each other / Got sex appeal like a mother / We were made for one another.”
While listening to Whalers’ tunes, I was also impressed by the sound quality. It turns out these guys are working with some heavy-hitters including My Morning Jacket’s sound engineer, Kevin Ratterman and Jim Eno’s studio, Public Hi-Fi. Specifically, check out their How The Ship Goes Down EP free to download here. You’ll hear recording wizardry that includes great use of stereo panning and effects processing.
Whalers have only leaked out a 1-song preview of their upcoming Bon Vivant EP. But I’m liking what I’m hearing. The band called upon Ratterman again to mix and master the EP and, on the leaked song, the recording sounds pristine. With “Bon Vivant,” the group really stepped up their use of two guitar harmonies and melodies, making the song a really intriguing listen. Gus Smalley definitely didn’t slouch on the vocals neither, his rockstar crooning hits a peak towards the end of the song when he reaches registers that fall way beyond most rockers range. Take a listen below.
I would encourage y’all to pre-order tickets to the show tonight while still possible. Every pre-order gets you free vinyl with the “Bon Vivant” single and a backing track in a cool screenprinted sleeve. Playing with Whalers will be Tiger Waves and Booher so it’ll definitely be worth getting there early. Pre-order tickets are $10 doors open at 9p. Be on the lookout for the Bon Vivant EP when it’s released in its entirety.