Whirlwind Heat

Types of Wood

None of you should be reading about Whirlwind Heat. That's because this trio of emaciated shaggy hairs from Grand Rapids, Mich., was never anything but utterly banal. Back in 2000 — as young upstarts — the group played a brand of robot punk shamelessly nicking tricks from real heavies, Braniac and Six Finger Satellite, which is where the Whirlwind Heat story should have ended. But then Jack White caught the band at a Detroit club, dug its shtick, and handed over his industry Rolodex, which is why in 2006 I'm writing about Types of Wood for a Bay Area alt weekly. It's the group's third high-profile release since 2003 and a vapid collection of cheeky, indie-dance novelties that — believe it or not — turns back the years to the Clinton era. Cuts like "Gene Pool Type" and "My Electric Underwear" are products of the same college-brow zoinks humor as Beck's Mellow Gold and the collected works of They Might Be Giants and Ween. Y'know what I'm talking about: quirky, bouncy pop full of pseudo-intellectual lyrics sung in a deadpan, Caucasian rap. Now if only the "Heatboys" could work a little of that classic Deadeye Dick mojo into their act, then they'd have finally forged their own, unique sound.

 
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