Denizen – Whispering Wild Stories …   1 comment

‘Whispering Wild Stories’ is the third album from French band  Denizen  but they are a new band to me and how I missed them before is bizarre to say the least because they are a kick-ass band, where have they been hiding all these years? Denizen harness the power of 70’s heavy rock like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Cream and inject it with copious amounts of gritty hardcore, garage punk rock – the result is something akin to Led Zeppelin having a drunken jam with Scissorfight and Fu Manchu. This is a sometimes choatic-sounding album but you can still hear the 70’s guitar riffing and the classic rock influence in among the punkish attitude. The album is uncompromising and kind of reckless in parts and while it is all very one-dimensional, the songs come and go with such energy, you don’t really notice it all sounds the same. The album is short, only 8 songs in 29 minutes and the only real curve ball thrown is a cover of Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ but I will get to that soon enough.

There is a real urgency to this band’s tunes, so much so that the opening trio of songs, ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Your Own Nightmare,’ and ‘Payback’ seem to be over and out before you know what hit you even though it still adds up to over 10 minutes of music. The 4:31 minutes of ‘Your Own Nightmare’ has so much punk swagger and sonic intensity that it literally seems like a 2 minute track, it basically steam-rolls over the top of you and then leaves you for dead. This track has one of the only slow break-downs anywhere on the album which is why it is the best original track here. No offense guys but more moments like these would have worked wonders. 

As I already mentioned, the songs here are all mostly very similar and follow the same formula but it is a good formula but it one-dimensional so the short running-time of the album is either dumb-luck or good planning because if ‘Whispering Wild Stories’ went any longer, it would get boring very quickly. The other problem is one that many albums face and that is the choice of a cover-version. ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ of course has one of the all time classic rock-riffs and the truth is, it is the best riff on the album by a mile.

Covering a Cream track like ‘Sunshine of Your Love’  is a very ballsy move on the part of Denizen as the song doesn’t exactly fit within the context of the style of the band. Even though they have 70’s rock influence up the ying-yang, it is played up-tempo and with a ferocious punky energy so a bluesy rock number is right out of left-field. The good news is they do manage to make the song their own and have put together a good version of the classic tune but it tends to outshine everything else on the album simply because of that killer riff and groove. The vocals here are fairly guttural and ‘Sunshine’ is the only track where the vocalist tries to inject some melody. Like I previously mentioned, I haven’t heard much of the bands earlier works but I did recently hear a couple of older tunes and there does seem to be a more melodic approach on this album. Despite the one-dimensional element, this is still a very good album and is almost like a party-punk type of record. They have all this hardcore punkish energy and inject it with classic 70’s rock and it does work and they do it an exceptional job of it but if it was any longer than the 29 minutes on offer here, I doubt if it would be as effective as it is. ‘Whispering Wild Stories’ is a good short blast of stoner-ish punky rock for your next beer-drinking session, sink a few and crank it up – I think you will dig it…….7.5/10

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Posted June 6, 2011 by doommantia in Denizen

One response to “Denizen – Whispering Wild Stories …

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  1. One of the many on my review list that I have not been able to get to due to immense amount of bullshit in my life:) Good album, though. I thought the vocals needed some adjustment, though.

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