Article by KevW
Formed in 2013, Belgian quintet Whispering Sons are here to create post-punk that has a darkness to it and is inspired by the new-wave sounds of the early '80s, and they don't half manage it on 'Endless Party'. That title is surely ironic given that this music is bleak, industrial coldwave that's built from equal parts of Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Siouxsie and the Banshees when they're having a particularly bad day. Spidery guitar lines mingle with retro, icy synths, a stop/start rumbling beat that nearly falls over itself and moody, almost monotone female vocals on opener 'Shadow'. For 'Midlife' those beats turn into machine-gun shots, snappy at you in quick bursts while Joy Division/early New Order sonics fill the air with an oddly hectic kind of doom. Lyrics speak of fear, regrets and everything coming to an end. Whispering Sons aren't here to pour liquid serotonin into your ears, the effect is quite different but still a great listen.
The overall atmosphere doesn't change, although no two songs use the exact same formula. They're held together by that deep, potent voice and sharp production. 'Time' is even more gothic and could come with a date stamp of 1981, but the guitar and synth towards the end of the track give a slightly brighter quality for a while, like a rogue disco ball sending sparkles through the dry ice and backcombed hair. Shards of light are also added to the otherwise gloomy 'The Night', again thanks to the guitar, but the rest of the song is slightly harrowing. You wouldn't be surprised if it was a cover of a very early Echo & the Bunnymen track that never got released. The band cite a shoegaze as an influence on their sound, and this is perhaps best exemplified by 'Insights' which uses more reverb and a steady wave of distorted sound as its backing and a more expansive sound overall. A krautrock beat and a giddy new-wave style is brought out for final track 'Wall', showing that they've maybe saved the best for last. Whispering Sons almost feel like nocturnal creatures, but then night time is usually when the most interesting and mysterious events occur, which kind of figures.
Whispering Sons' website
Buy: 'Endless Party'
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