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Wednesday, January 13, 1999

Trip-hop rocks out

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 1999 at 12:00 AM

On its 1995 debut, We Care, Whale was just some Swedish yahoos with samplers and a budget who recorded tossed-off, drunken, trip-hop gems such as “Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe” and “Young Dumb and Full of Cum” with then-pal Tricky. Three years later, they’re like some great cosmic answer to the question of “what if the Sugarcubes never broke up?” But despite an inspired penchant for quirky pop that mixes samples and live drums, guitars and sequences, the Whalers, unfortunately, now sound like they’re having more fun playing than we ever could listening. While “4 Big Speakers” is a great sampled-guitar hook turned into an even greater avant-funk jam, songssuch as “Smoke” deteriorate into the bratty noise-rock indulgence even the most stuck-up American indie rock bands got smart and got out of their systems years ago. There’s still the warped pop intuition that made We Care so matter-of-factly great, it’s just that now with All Disco Dance… you’ve got to look between the alternative rawk songs with their arbitrary verses, choruses and chords to find the Sugarcubes-meets-Beastie Boys goodtime get-down now.

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