Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Killer Whales - Emotional Geography (1983, Ripete)

Actually found something remotely cool in a $1 LP bin at one of local flea markets this summer ( I sorta have to stress the 'remotely' part). The Killer Whales were produced by none other than Jamie Hoover of Spongetones renown, but Emotional Geography isn't quite in the power pop realm. Leadman David Bethany's rather non-descript vocals aside, the Whales play with the competency and rhythmical awareness of Ghost in the Machine-era Police. The trio, hailing from South Carolina tack slightly to the 'wave' direction of the early-80s modern-rock hierarchy, but thankfully were intelligent enough to dismiss the ridiculous haircuts that were so requisite of their peers. Overall, a decent little record. A snazzy sleeve on this one as well.

Long-defunct, the Whales have a website. Although it appears it hasn't undergone much mainatance since 2003, it does make mention that this album, and others, are available on CD through the band, so if you like what you hear spread the walth. 
01. Who Controls the Video Screen
02. Robot Girl
03. When the Shooting Starts
04. What Will I Do?
05. Here In the Modern World
06. Emotional Geography
07. Don't Talk Now
08. Orca's Revenge
09. I Eat in My Car


Unknown said...

You picked up a real gem there! Long out of print, that album was Killer Whales at their peak (although the even rarer 1986 album Big Bang showed much more mature songwriting, IMO). Jim Blakeslee and Murphy Pitts were one hell of a rhythm section, and I would never describe David Bethany's vocals as "nondescript." He has an excellent, soulful voice with an airiness reminiscent of Mark Knopfler or Don Henley. Admittedly, the mix on this album does not highlight his voice well. The live shows were always best for hearing David sing.

Pajmo said...

I was lucky enough to catch a few Killer Whale gigs back in the '80s. They were a tight unit. Emotional Geography is a great record. I remember they appeared on Star Search back in '84 or '85. I caught a reunion show in Charlotte a few years ago at The Double Door Inn. They only played a show or two during that reformation but they were as tight as ever. I did buy the CDs at the show but I've not been able to rip the CDs and put them on my iTunes because they are home-made CD-Rs. Not sure if it's the paper label on the disc or some format issue but my Mac has not been able to convert the songs without static-like distortion. Bummer.

Unknown said...

Yep, saw them at least 20X in around CofC in the 80's. Chuck, please get help on ripping that CD and send it to me. I have a stupid cassette of Big Bang Theory, the album of Emotional Geography, but I can't find my album of their 4 song album with Marlene. I think it got stolen in '85 when someone stole 1/3 of my record collection from my dorm. (That day still haunts my dreams.... ) David said they had turned down a small record deal after their Talent Search win since it didn't include a music video. They took their winnings and bought all new equipment, but it just never caught fire. Sure miss those guys. I taught myself the drums by playing to Murphy's rifs. I had to build a weird isolation rig and place my turntable in the next room to keep it from skipping while I hacked away at the drums.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Painhertz said...

Haven't thought about the Whales in years. Spent my time at Harry's.

Here's a "recent" article with "news"

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Robert Nagle said...

FYI, this Killer Whales link is dead.

Unknown said...

I know it's been so long ago. I was dancing with a date in a club in Charleston in 1982. The Killer Whales were playing "Secret Agent Man" and I was struck by how good they were. I didn't expect their level of excellence for what I thought was just a bar band. They were much more than that and I remember it clearly 38 years later. I have that song track on a Charleston band compilation LP in my collection. I need to dig it out.