Album Review The Whip - Wired Together

Intense, layered, but pure pop at its heart.

When you’re in a band, there’s something about extended periods away from the public eye that doesn’t do you any favours. It has been almost three-and-a-half years since The Whip released their debut ‘X Marks Destination’. The album, whilst flawed, displayed a band with plenty of potential. This potential had not been fully realised, but there was the feeling that whatever they came up with next would be even better.

They certainly kept us waiting. That isn’t an issue at all, though, because ‘Wired Together’ has been well worth the wait. In the interim, the band must have spent time ensuring that their second album was the absolute best record they could make, because it’s absolute leagues ahead of its predecessor.

It’s quite appropriate, then, that opener ‘Keep or Delete’ doesn’t come racing out of the traps, instead taking a while to build before exploding into life. Somehow we always knew that The Whip would adopt a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude to their second record, and its opener is an accurate indicator of what’s to come: intense, layered, but pure pop at its heart.

If you manage not to get stuck on ‘Secret Weapon’, you’ll be doing better than we did. It’s placed in an unenviable position on ‘Wired Together’ (having to follow ‘Keep or Delete’ is a challenge no matter what way you look at it), but it demands repeated listens, while simultaneously managing not to dwarf the rest of the album. The same can be said of a few other songs on the record, in fact, among them the title track, the lead single ‘Riot’, and ‘Best Friend’.

The Whip would have been forgiven for letting up a little for the album’s closer, but they do nothing of the sort, and the seven-minute epic ‘Slow Down’ finishes the album with a flourish, its repeated refrain of ‘They can’t touch you anymore’ seeming to send out a clear message to the band’s contemporaries. The gauntlet has been thrown down, in the form of one of the best dance-rock albums of the year.