Whipping Boy were among my first music loves and one of the first gigs I ever attended in Galway had the band promoting their debut (and by far their best) album ‘Submarine’. The album has resurfaced recently and it remains an astonishingly angry piece of work that is tempered by some of the sweetest guitar jangling. Ferghal McKee was a ticket back then, which made the reunion gigs of December 2005 all the more disappointing witnessing a clearly much more mature lead singer faking it (or at the very least lapsing into pastiche). But Whipping Boy’s early days were astonishing, no other contemporary Irish band aside from, perhaps, Rollerskate Skinny could stir such audience emotion. McKee atop the drums, his head wrapped in several layers of cling film while his band recreated a nuclear holocaust is just too memorable an apparition to ever forget. Every element of ‘Submarine’ cut me to the bone, like the opening track on side 2 ‘Bettyclean’ with it’s out of key singing/whistling. The subtle mid section chord changes are a particular highlight but the sluggish delivery throughout still sends electro activity down my crouched spine. KD
Whipping Boy – Bettyclean
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