Two and a half minutes into the title track, you can tell that SF Bay Area’s Whiskerman has figured it out. You know, like the musical equivalent of the ‘nail on the head.’ That perfect blend of catchy and unique, an accessible but eye-opening style, a lot of talent and excellent songwriting.
Bad News (the song) begins with all the elements of a great soul. A mean groove, tight instrumentation, and wild vocals.
But then things change. Two and a half minutes in, the band cuts out, guitar rears its nasty head, and the musicians all come back into a twisted waltz as the dust clears. “Where does it come from? How does it end?” Graham Patzner asks.
Suddenly we sink back into that tight groove, drummer Nick Cobbett and bassist Will Lawrence kick everything into place, while Graham howls and yowls in a serious battle against guitarist Chuck Lloyd for the “best hyena wail” award.
The Bad News EP channels a visceral soul/r&b energy, touching genres not yet covered in Whiskerman’s recorded music. Another standout track “The Town,” an homage to the city of Oakland, conveys a sincere and deep hometown love. Its swelling strings and tambourine invitingly compliment the solid foundation built by the four members of Whiskerman, making Graham’s refrain “Come on down!” seem like a direct invitation to a backyard barbecue.
Whiskerman, I know it’s you who says “I Came Here to Thank You.” But trust me guys, the feeling is mutual.