Post-punk / no-wave from Tampa, Florida
Our take: Debut release from this band out of Tampa, Florida whose sound lies somewhere at the intersection of post-punk, no wave, and noise rock. More than a stylistic hodgepodge though, Clang! reminds me of those styles because of their heavy emphasis on rhythm. While some bands write songs around melodic progressions, others write songs around riffs, and still others might write around tempo changes, textures, or any number of other characteristics, Clang!’s music centers on groove. Each of Whac-a-mole’s twelve tracks takes a particular rhythmic motif and explores it inside out, altering and augmenting it and scraping out its insides. About half of the tracks are only around a minute and a half long, but on others (most noticeably on the nine-minute closer, “Gomorrah”), they stretch out and go deeper. When you hear a band like this that is adept at inventing and embodying rhythms, it makes you realize how monotonous most bands’ grooves are. Recommended for fans of the Slits, the World, Preening, the Ruts, Public Image Limited, and other rhythmically inventive punk music.