on 15 February 2007
Mmm, I'd be willing to wager that Snow Patrol own a copy of this album. If you want to know where they nicked their powerful, keening guitar sounds on 'Final Straw', listen to 'Twinkle' 'Fiction' or 'Users' off this record. But where the Patrol err towards the soppy and sentimental in their lyrics, Whipping Boy write about weak men and feckless women, in thrall to their destructive urges.
Sex rears its ugly headboard im many of these songs, only occasionally as a healer, often as a destroyer. "No more songs for swinging lovers" as Fergal McKhee sings bitterly on 'Fiction'.
Regret and the passing of time is nailed ruthlessly in 'When We Were Young' - "When we were young nobody knew/ Who you were or what you do/ Nobody had a past that catches up on you."
'We Don't Need Nobody Else' caused controversy on its release as a single due to its first-person confessions of a wife-beater - "I hit you for the first time today/ I didn't mean it, it just happened/ You wouldn't let me go to the phone, you wanted to make love and I did not...."
Mckhee isn't afraid to set himself up as a despicable individual in many of these songs - "I have used so many people for no reason and no gain."
With its raw subject matter and strident, chiming guitars 'Heartworm' stood uneasily alongside the lairiness of Britpop. But now, 12 years later, it's wearing considerably better than a lot of music from that period.
Brutal and unflinching in its depictions of love gone wrong, 'Heartworm' wriggles its way into that most vital of organs and stays there.
on 17 January 2007
I recently rediscovered this and had forgotten just how damn perfect this record is. It is very dark, but the darkness comes across in different ways. "We don't need nobody else" is intense and angry, sending shivers down the spine when the chorus cuts in, whereas the beautiful "Personality" is drunk and self-pitying and almost reminds me of Leonard Cohen or Jacques Brel.
There isn't one bad track on this album and it is a tragedy that Whipping Boy didn't get the success they deserve. Buy it and listen to it loudly on your own - you won't regret it.
on 31 August 2004
What a superb album this is, tender and cruel, lost and lonely, bitter and heartfelt. Another great rock album lost in the mid nineties dance maelstrom. Buy it and you wont regret it, it's superb!
on 4 June 2013
I've loved this album for many years and finally found a copy on vinyl that was within budget! They aren't the easiest things to find. As you might gather from the title of this album, it's often intense and introspective - all things I usually love from my music. Fearghal McKee's lyrics are recitable and memorable and delivered with his trademark deep craggy vocal. The songs themselves are musically accomplished too though my one criticism is that they sometimes sound a bit too overproduced/radio friendly for the subject matter. I think that this could have been regarded as more of a classic than it already is if it had been a bit more raw. All in all though, great and underrated.
on 26 January 2004
Absolutely the greatest album ever made - from a band that burned brightly but all too briefly, and seemed poised to conquer the world, a masterpiece on every level possible in music, it perfectly combines razor-sharp lyrics with melody and aggression, and is intense as music can possibly be.Uplifting and powerful in a way that only truly great bands are, there's not an album on the planet that even comes near it. Simply a matter of life and death.