White Whale WWI

White Whale WWI
The concept of a Lawrence, KS super-group won’t be setting the blogs afire — though one listen to WWI probably will. This is a densely rewarding album where every track is enough to satiate hungry fans of prog pop. Really, after hearing the seven and a half thrilling minutes of "O William O Sarah,” we could all go home. But wait, that’s only the beginning! From there we’re persistently blindsided by dollops of jangle pop, fat bass synths, rich harmonies, Floyd-ish balladry, hints of British folk and a nightmarish psychedelic bridge or two. Before Fiery Furnace-haters flee in fear, know that White Whale betray nary a whiff of being eccentric for their own sake. Every twist and turn is warm and inviting, guided by the velvet tones of vocalist Matt Suggs. He’s best known for his mid-’90s work in Butterglory, and two post-millennium solo albums (one awesome, one painfully average). Joining Suggs is Get Up Kids bassist Rob Pope and three members from a band known as Thee Higher Burning Fire — but you probably don’t know and likely don’t care. All you need to know is that WWI is being fought for the believers who are perennially prepared to give up on rock bands until they hear a record like this — while sounding nothing like the messiahs before them, and without the time of day for deconstructionist theories. Suggs sings "We’re Just Temporary, Ma’am,” but hopefully they’ll stick around to fight WWII. (Merge)