Whirr, Cloakroom, Airiel | Beat Kitchen | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Whirr, Cloakroom, Airiel 

When: Tue., Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $12, $10 in advance
For four years Whirr has been beefing up the dreamy, cloudy wash of shoegaze with walls of suffocatingly heavy guitars. This San Francisco band’s previous LPs, Distressor and Pipe Dreams, combined warm atmospherics and yearning melodies with massive, glacial rhythms and avalanche-inducing bottom end; main man Nick Bassett spent two years in Deafheaven, whose hybrid of black metal and postrock likewise blends pretty and punishing. On the brand-new Sway (Graveface), Whirr has tightened up a little bit, kicking up the tempos and focusing its energy into a concentrated beam of warm ’n’ fuzzy indie rock. But the band is by no means going punk: the songs are still pretty and sad, just a little less spacey. The biggest difference is that the wistful singing of Alexandra Morte and Kristina Esfandiari has been swapped out for mellow, hushed baritone vocals by guitarists Joseph Bautista and Loren Rivera. When Whirr plays live, though, it’s not particularly important who’s on the mike—the last time I saw the band, the three guitarists were blasting through a wall of amplifiers that overpowered the PA and rendered the vocals 100 percent inaudible. —Luca Cimarusti
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