It doesn’t take long to realise that Pause and Effect, is a whole new kettle of fish to Whitemoor’s previous album; Horizons. Before even beginning to listen, we can see that the first track is over a minute longer than any other track from the band, foreshadowing of a new, fresher, maturer sound? The introductory 50 seconds are grand, and cinematic; this is an event. Before long, just as you settle down to this Disney-esque soundscape, we’re hit with a heavier riff than we were used to on Horizons. And not long after, we’re introduced to Benny’s vocals for the first time, sounding more raw, and powerful than ever.
The track fluctuates throughout and we hear lashings of both the airy sounds we’re used to with Whitemoor, mixed with the new found aggression that is evident instantly. This seems to be the case throughout the whole album. Hollywood really sets the tone for the remainder of the LP nicely. If there were to be one track to sum the album up, this would be it.
However, the track that most encapsulates the darker, more guitar driven demeanour of the bands’ latest attempt, is the aptly named; Dark Sparks. You can practically smell the melancholy tone in Benny’s vocals. This new sound comes more naturally to the band than the that of their previous albums – which in hindsight now sound somewhat forced.
For those of you that aren’t enamoured with this new Whitemoor, don’t despair. Ghosts marks the halfway point of the album and the flavour seems to go off on a tangent. The chunky, driven sound has been replaced by a more mellow, relaxed sound. And this continues through the following 3 tracks.That’s not to say these tracks are bad by any means. They each tell a story and provide a well earned interlude to give you time for brace yourself for Masquerade. This is clearly the bands’ Magnum Opus. It really demonstrates how Benny, Barrington, Luke, Tom, and Louise can gel when at their very best. The dynamics of all the individual sections work intrinsically to tie the album together before the finale. Dean Jackson on BBC Introducing noted that Whitemoor; “Do the pop thing so well but at the same time the guitars are used so effectively”. Simply put Masquerade is an epic stadium filler that proves Jackson right.
Pause and Effect is unequivocally the Derbyshire 5 pieces’ finest album to date. The shift in sound is a real treat and the band pull it off effortlessly.
‘Pause and Effect’ is out on the 25th July 2015, via Sound-Hub