Chapterhouse "Whirlpool"

Originally released in 1991, Chapterhouse’s debut album “Whirlpool” has grown in stature over the years, fetching some pretty crazy prices on eBay until it was recently reissued with bonus tracks on UK imprint Cherry Red Records. Part of the so-called shoegaze scene of the early ’90s, which also included in its ranks British groups such as My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Swervedriver (and numerous others), “Whirlpool” was actually dismissed by some critics and fans of the genre for being too poppy. See, I’m old enough to remember this stuff first hand. I loved the album back in the day and I love it just as much now so I’m glad it’s part of the shoegaze holy grail so to speak. The Cherry Red version is essential for the 7 bonus tracks, which were B-sides from the group’s first three rare-as-hell EPs. If you have never heard the group before I’d recommend listening to tracks 10-16 first in order to witness the groups progression from a noisy, more experimentally-inclined, yet always tuneful group into a band that became a major force on “Whirlpool,” encompassing all of the best elements of The Stone Roses, Ride and MBV, but adding their own original touches. Favorites here include the infectious opener “Breather,” the stunning single “Pearl,” which was a minor UK hit, and the beat-heavy, guitar laced “Falling Down,” which is my all-time favorite tune by the group. Detailed liner notes and lots of cool photos make this a fantastic package.

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3 comments

  1. And you’re copying the bonus tracks for me WHEN? (I had to eBay to even get a CD copy of Whirlpool…I only ever owned it on tape. It ranks up there with MBV’s Loveless in terms of all-time-faves).

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