PPM85. Black Vinyl. Edition of 500. Full printed covers. 12"x18" poster/insert.
The second full-length by Whistler is a shimmering charge of sound, a spell so loud and ambitious it wants to be heard through speakers the size of a door. Notes boom and sway with a sparkling anti-gravity, lifting you into the air, lowering you onto soft fields. In the words of Whistler’s vocalist/guitarist Louis Scherfig, “Our songs musically are quite driven by an idea of beauty.” This beauty is paired with a tenacious commitment, each of the nine songs carrying its own sturdy, balanced grace. It is easy to picture the four members walking circles around each song, shoving here and shaking there, ensuring that everything is firmly grounded, supported, braced. Telltale Sauce is an architectural masterpiece. It’s also a head-hung downer. Because for every unforgettable hook, for every harmonized embrace, there’s a shattering confrontation in the lyrics. As the twinned, weary voices of Scherfig and Ditte Gyldendal Amby sing on the title track, “Change is gonna come,” before clarifying: “It’ll hunt us down forever.”
The songs catalog our accumulation of unwelcome burdens: algorithms, bills, calories, diabetes, etc. Is it wrong to pair such vulgar worries with these melodies? Well it can’t be worse than living our lives dictated by them. The tension and instability of daily life is obsessively present here; “So here’s to coping!” toasts Scherfig halfway through the record. A previous EP by Whistler asked, “How is the end of the world contained in your everyday?” and it remains the most helpful cypher for thinking about this band.
Listen to any verse on Telltale Sauce and how it acknowledges powerlessness along with its buddies: disconnect and surrender. Then listen to the song’s breathtaking burst into an ecstatic, soaring wordlessness, something beyond humanity. It’s not a solution, but it’s a relief: reckless abandon redefined. The legacy of this kind of bold rock music says: “we’re having so much fun tonight! Let’s never stop dancing together!” But when Whistler commands us in the same words—forget about other records, forget about work tomorrow—it’s a different sort of uncoupling. Perhaps Telltale Sauce is best understood as Madchester without the drugs—all the smeared colors and harsh edges of, like, The Stone Roses, but forced into the sober, inevitable light of 2022.
Whistler is Ditte Gyldendal Amby, Pynte, Anton Rothstein, and Louis Scherfig. The band formed in 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Telltale Sauce is their second full-length LP, preceded by Blow Torch Social (released 2020 by Part Time Records) and the EPs ApocalypzZzz (2022, Post Present Medium) and Whistler’s First Recordings (2020, self-released). Whistler’s members previously played in Marching Church, Lower, Arakk, and Holm.
an eager charmer with zeitgeist ambitions, teen enough to not know that past means trauma, grown enough to dance to the beating with jeweled middle fingers pointing in each direction.
1. Soyuz Hay
3. Shakespeare Currency
4. Salty People
5. Revenge Of The Real
7. Telltale Sauce
9. I'm Gone