Who knows what random spasms arbitrary stream-of-consciousness trips will produce. After Whirlwind Heat debuted their Do Rabbits Wonder? album (with tracks named after colors) and followed with the outlandishly freaky Flaming Honey, one could only expect a capitalizing stunt marked by blindfolded escapades down dark tunnels and silent screams among pink morbidity. Except, during all extreme nonsense and efforts to self-stretch sanity there appears to be a safety net. Bad in the sense that you begrudgingly knew you needed it anyway, but good because you have the freedom to do whatever you want without serious injury. The band’s latest LP, Types Of Wood, resembles this straightforward bash of balls defying form but not function. As early pals of White Stripes’ Jack White, the group’s break came in 1999 after an opening performance for Arab On Radar. Whirlwind Heat are also known to have toured with The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Kills, and most recently, Beck.
Types Of Wood is the kind of record that renders notions of cheap tricks (in a bag and such) without coming across as overly juvenile. The band rejuvenates the mechanics of what made Cake (“Reagan” and “Up-Tight”) initially desirable, crossing melodramatic vocals with matching guitar and added punk rampages (“Umbrella People”). “Captain Cave” opens with harmonica, while “Gene Pool Style” staggers about sperm donations and girls. Awkward adolescence (in actuality or in the form of adulthood) evokes both fear and fun times, but you eventually realize that no matter what, Grandma was right when she said all would be fine in the end. Meanwhile, you do and try. Say anything, but you can’t say it was planned.