As electro-punk and other dance hybrids thereof reach critical mass on this side of the pond, the Mancunian (that means they''re from Manchester, natch) aggro-synth band The Whip has been heating up the UK with a progressive take on the legacy of such stalwart geezers as the Happy Mondays and New Order. And although X Marks Destination hit the British bins last spring, with several songs circulating as singles even before that, frontman Bruce Carter is quick to point out that the long-awaited Stateside release of The Whip''s debut will hold a few surprises.
“We recorded some new drum tracks for the older songs while we were finishing the rest of the album,” he says. “We always spend a lot of time cutting different versions of songs before we decide on the one we want. The writing part is easy—it''s piecing the songs together that melts my head. Danny [Saville] has to stop me sometimes or I would just go on forever like a musical chameleon.”
From the jump, in fact, Carter and Saville (whose synth arsenal includes a Roland Juno-60, Korg MS-20 and Moog Little Phatty, among others) have embraced flux as inspiration, moving between dark goth-pop—shards of which still linger in the ruffneck club hit “Trash”—and gritty proto-techno (on the exquisite album closer “Dubsex”) with astonishing ease. Originally a duo and now a foursome with bassist Nathan Sudders and drummer Fiona Daniel, The Whip also tear it up live: The band''s recent CMJ set in New York served notice it isn''t just your average garage throwback.
“Most of our influence is more global than that,” Carter explains. “These days, you feel part of a community that doesn''t have a geographic point. Things can be thrown together from different genres, and people are ready to take it anywhere. No rules is the way forward to more exciting music, and that''s what really turns us on.”