WHOOP-Szo – Niizhwaaswo | Album Review

When: 27/05/2014
Where: Out Of Sound Records
Like/Love: LOVE
Canadian outfit WHOOP-Szo spent some time out in the Inuit community of Salluit, Quebec to help craft a sound that would firmly and geographically cement their status as a very “out there” band, and following the release of double album Qallunaat/Odemin comes Niizhwaaswo, the third and final piece of the trilogy. These guys look to deliver sound collages capable of making a grown man cry, but make them cry in the most confusing way possible.
Boat Cave opens up Niizhwaaswo in the worst way possible as various noises ranging from guitar feedback to filthy guitar strings to god knows what else are mashed together with no hint of hook or structure in sight and an overwhelming avoidance of pop sensability is evident as nothing seems to be formed from these sounds. Somehow WHOOP-Szo come out of it looking good as the track somehow becomes an interesting mindscope into what could only be known as the dying breaths of Dinosaur Jr. in their Poledo moment.
Fortunately the introduction falls out of place for the second impression as CSG delivers a somewhat catchy performance that begins in quite a highly poppy state but quickly spirals into a disgusting pile of disjointed rhythms and melodies that could make you sick. It is fantastic though; I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a woman’s orgasm followed by an intense hardcore punk section. Infact, I’ve never witnessed one of those things altogether. I really like punk music.
Lead single Jan 3rd leads into a much more sombre direction as wheeping instrumentals are present to accompany some of the more accessible vocals on the record while the band do a great job of delivering various hooks inside this slowed down atmosphere to make it a surprising, emotive listen amomngst some of the strangest material I’ve encountered. Wonderful song.
The closing half of Niizhwaaswo is definitely a surprise as WHOOP-Szo take the gritty, broken beyond repair sound we heard in the first half and somehow eases it into producing some lovely lo-fi gems. The band focus on harmonies and detail as tracks such as Banjoanie is a wonderful banjo jam, the title track takes it’s time to let the listener sink into the mix but quickly draws it’s claws with some moments of pure eruptive fury, and the closing track The Through Window is somehow…perfect. WHOOP-Szo caught me off guard with Niizhwaaswo, as after hearing a lot of Out Of Sound/PERDU’s material you come to expect nothing but a trip to the hospital and a gazillion eardrum transplants but not this time. There’s balladry hidden within this record, and I love it. It’s a superb way to round off what has been an interesting collection of music, and I cannot wait to see how WHOOP-Szo follow it up, and also if the entire Canadian underground adapt a little more softness to their sound too.
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