Booths and labels, always a difficult issue. Yet (b) the placing in boxes, the sticking of labels – say the categorization urge of man – seems an unstoppable fact. (Wow! An unmistakable statement from your amateur house philosopher!). This sense of interpretation is also permanently present in the music world. Is something rock?Blues? Pop? Classical or disco. Not simple, because what the one is, for the other is that. And ‘Whiterward’ is it for underwriting. In other words: not to bring home under one flag! Difficult to categorize, but fortunately the band (that is to say ‘band’ … correction: the duo Whiterward) saves us from the need by assigning the label indie-folk to their style.
And the indie pop presented on ‘The Anchor’ sounds anything but bad. Limitless.Without any style barriers, but with many – sometimes too many – bells, whistles and frills. Many bells, whistles and frills by the battalion of guest musicians who supported Whitewarders Ashley E. Norton and Edward Williams in the canning of the work discussed here. What should we imagine with indie-folk? Or better what to imagine with the indie-folk of Whiterward. It’s no easy task to answer this unequivocally, but the following seems a worthwhile attempt: poppy songs that seem to be able to go anywhere. With a lot of room for experiment that is what it is called. A small anthology …. Folk rock tunes enriched with classical passages.Check! A song with a swing jazz / rockabilly feel, say a copy that could just as easily have been shot on the musical brain of Lee Rocker. Check (‘Deaf, Dumb And Blind’)! Tracks that would not have been out of place on ‘One From The Heart’ by Tom Waits. Check! (‘Burn The Roses’ and ‘Teeth’). A Muppetesque- lock number with lots of gurgling and fumbling, with which the band proves not to take themselves too seriously. Check! (‘Wasteland’)
In short: With ‘The Anchor’ Whiterward produced a more than decent debut album (‘t is zeg: their first full-album) full of contradictions. Dark … but at the same time frivolous … at times experimental, yet accessible again. Bit strange picture so, but will certainly be re-listened. Although reduced to 11 tracks, because for your servant the songs ‘Free’ and ‘Parallel Universe’ did not need to be used.