The Whiffs: Scratch 'N' Sniff 12"

The Whiffs: Scratch 'N' Sniff 12"

Tags: · 20s · hcpmf · kansas city · power pop · punk · rock
Dig Records
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HEY YOU! Get a whiff of this: Scratch ‘N’ Sniff by The Whiffs — the second album by Kansas City’s foremost power pop foursome is upon us via Dig! Record Co (US) & Bachelor Records (EU). Not unlike their first album (Another Whiff), and as rock critic Jon Harrison heralds in the album’s liner notes: “this sophomoric offering provides all of the things you love about The Whiffs.” … Now, if you’re asking yourself ‘what do I love about the Whiffs’? Here’s a clue: SONGS. You love The Whiffs’ songs! And now Scratch ‘N’ Sniff’s got 13 new boffo numbers brimming with the hook-laden, never-far-from-the-bar pub-rock snarl The Whiffs nail everytime.

The Whiffs are less recording artists than a band of journeymen, from the drums Jake Cardwell (C&C Drum Co.) built-by-hand, to Joey Rubbish’s home recording studio (Club Sandwich). It’s only natural Scratch ‘N’ Sniff is a homegrown production from the floor (tom) up, and was recorded in the band’s living room. The songs are all their own too. Whether penned by Cameron (Rory), Campbell (Zach) or Rubbish (Joey), they all stink of The Whiffs broken-in power pop confectionery. A close listen will reveal the cracks of many-a-can and roommates laughing at vocal takes. As such, everyone’s invited to Scratch ‘N’ Sniff and dive in!

Recommended if you DIG!: The Whiffs’ previous output, Stiff Records, The Mats, The Rubs and any era of the Fab Four!

Our take: Scratch ’N’ Sniff is the third album by this Kansas City power-pop band. We’ve loved both of the Whiffs’ previous LPs here at Sorry State, and Scratch ’N’ Sniff keeps the streak alive, giving us more of the same classic-sounding power-pop. That’s not to say Scratch ’N’ Sniff is redundant, any more than it’s redundant to write a pop song in this day and age… it’s an adaptable and extensible framework that any skilled practitioner can make their own, which is what the Whiffs do here. While the songwriting is classic and timeless—full of big guitar hooks, vocal melodies, and lyrics about love and loss—they ground the presentation in 70s classics like the Flamin’ Groovies, Big Star, the dB’s, and the Shoes. The sound is raw and live, like a band playing together in a room (no synthesizers or drum machines here), and the recording has a slight vintage-y haze. It’s a lot like Sorry State’s own the Number Ones, and if you have a place in your heart for this kind of chiming power-pop, you’re going to like it.