Bay Area guitar-warpers Whirr slowly came into their own over the course of their earliest EPs and recordings, tapering off of a shoegaze revivalist sound leading up to the murky and molasses-slow four-song EP Around. Coming up with other 2010s bands indebted to the pedal-hopping textures of My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Curve, and the like, Whirr's 2012 full-length Pipe Dreams showed a little more dynamism than many of their peers, opening up the instrumentation to go beyond the standard rock band layout and shifting in and out of uptempo jaunts of feedback and slowed-down stretches of dreaminess. Around takes things down several notches, turning in a consistently languid pace along with similar instrumentation and feel to each of the four tracks. Beginning with a distant, lonesome guitar figure, the nearly ten-minute-long album opener "Drain" takes its time before kicking in to booming clouds of guitar, obscured dual vocals, and lumbering drums. The narcotic approach is somewhere between the misty-eyed summer daydreaming of Slowdive and Codeine's half-speed washiness. Obscured, buried themes are the order of the day with Around. The songs blur together musically as well as thematically, all with typical one-word titles that barely suggest any more meaning than the completely aquatic vocals, which serve mostly as another texture rather than anything explicit. This bleary-eyed approach works for the most part, with the band meshing together guitar textures and submerged vocal lines in a pleasant web of colors, coming up for air occasionally as on the minute of feedback that bridges "Keep" and "Around" or the blast of syncopation that begins "Swoon." While Whirr never quite nail the Ride drum sound, MBV wooziness, or arid Slowdive mystery that they're going for on these tracks, the results are still strong, weaving a deeply textural sound that drifts along like a lazy canoe ride on the hottest day of the year.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas