Chapterhouse – Whirlpool

Chapterhouse’s Whirlpool could only existed at that time in the early nineties. It was what every sixth former dreamed to be at that time, to have the ‘look’ and a large selection of effects pedals at your disposal. This was what they were sometimes compared to sixth formers with pedals. In retrospect they were very talented, there clever use of melody and rhythm compensated for the weak fey vocals.

It opens with the energetic Breather, the riffs, drum rolls and cymbal crashes are completely contrasting to the vocals. The soft dreamy vocals actually compliment the music. This soft/hard strategy is used by many bands in the loud/quiet approach to song writing. There are soundscapes within songs, but they are not too obvious. Pearl is the main song of the album its got a a groovy keyboard chord and drum rhythm, awash with indistinct vocals guitar effects. Autosleeper alternates between soft melodies and extreme noise experimentation, the sort of thing that Mogwai based their sound on. My favourite song on album is Treasure, it is very intense. It was magnified by the realisation that the chorus actually is I’m in heaven, Oh, I’m in hell, this was only after the 1000th time listening to the song. The grooviest track is Falling Down built around a chugging filthy wah riff, it flirts with the realms of being a dance track.  If You Want Me sounds very Spiritualizedesque it starts off softly and builds up to a  wall of sound.

This classic is definitely set in the nineties but has strangely stood the test of time.

Chapterhouse : Whirlpool

Falling Down
If You Want Me
Something More


3 thoughts on “Chapterhouse – Whirlpool

  1. Nice review. I like this record, although it hasn’t aged particularly well compared to other records of the era. However…

    “If ever there was a Spiritualized Laser Guided Melodies pastiche, If You Want Me would be it”.

    is a bit unfair. “Whirlpool” was released in 1991 and “Lazer…” was released in 1992.

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