Saturday, March 04, 2023

The Whiffs - Scratch 'N' Sniff

Alright, power pop fans: this is the one you've been waiting for. The Whiffs are back with their second full-length release, and they aren't messing with a winning recipe. Scratch 'N' Sniff finds the Kansas City–based foursome sticking to a classic sound rooted in '70s power pop and the timeless melodies of the British Invasion. Rory Cameron, Zach Campbell, and Joey Rubbish continue to split singing and songwriting duties. And with all that talent involved, you know to expect one great tune after another. Remember how in the heyday of power pop there would often be a discernable drop-off in quality or an unsuccessful stylistic shift between a band's first and second album? The Whiffs suffer from no such sophomore jinx. They're still pop-rock classicists, and they're in top form. Packed full of tuneful melodies, tight harmonies, punchy guitars, and big hooks, Scratch 'N' Sniff is basically an even better version of 2019's Another Whiff. If you keep going back to The Nerves, Big Star, The Raspberries, Shoes, etc. and lament that "nobody makes music like this anymore," I can assure you that The Whiffs absolutely do. The term "power pop" means different things to different people. The Whiffs' style of power pop, to me, is rock and roll in one of its purest forms. Scratch 'N' Sniff is like comfort food for the ears, and it can hold its own with just about any of your go-to '70s power pop long players. Get it from DIG! Records!


Scott said...

It's my album of the year so far!

Unknown said...

It's a delightful album, but it's their third: Take a Whiff! (2017), Another Whiff (2019), & Scratch 'N' Sniff (2023).

Lord Rutledge said...

I believe they consider the first one an EP, although I would probably call it an album too.