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"The Whistle Song" - The Slaps

K.P. Peters | January 2017

The Slaps are back at it again releasing a single to mark the start of the winter quarter. If you have been following their Instagram you are already aware that these boys spent their holidays in Kentucky self producing a new record. This record has been promised to bring the beach blues vibe that The Slaps have become notorious for.

Sadly, the first single isn’t all that we have come to expect from them. While it still maintains the eerie echo of Rand’s voice that seems to make a college girl’s heart swoon, it lacks the upbeat melody that the band usually brings to the parties they perform at.

The single starts with slow guitar strings humming and a beautifully sung first line. Then the drums come in and the listener is still left only swaying to the tune. I’m not saying the song is bad, just not what I expected from their first released single. Maybe the fault is in the slow tempo.

Usually a single from an EP is the best song to listen to on repeat, the one that brings about the most upbeat response, not the one that makes you want to curl up with coffee and a good book. After listening to their set tonight I heard a few songs that would better suit the role of a single, and better grasp the typical sound of their songs.  

Maybe the fault is in the simplistic approach taken on this track. If one goes to listen to “See Her” on our YouTube you will note that the track has a strong melody, good flowing drums and excellent vocals and lyrics. To contrast, this new track relies more heavily on the guitar, with minimalist drums that follow the strumming rather than contrasting it to make a layered effect. Yet, it is possible that the problem is our expectations.

The Slaps quickly became one of the most well known DePaul bands, filling up living rooms with eager students in minutes. Just consider the crowd that appeared tonight, the room was so packed many people stood or sat on the ground. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that expectations of what they can do are high, and while “The Whistle Song” isn’t bad it also isn’t great. Regardless, the band’s dissonant “whistling” ( I say that in quotations because, despite the song title, it is not a whistle) is still surprisingly pleasant. It evokes the feeling of late nights singing lazily with friends and is, in my opinion, the best part of the tune. The lyrics remain as heartbreaking/romantic as their other songs, repeating the phrase “wasting your time” multiple times throughout the five minute track. Despite our critical review we still maintain our high expectations for this group.

A video of this song can be found here