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In the Whale House

grunge/alt rockers release first in series of EPs

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by Tyler Jennings Henderson

BAND CAM. Chippewa Valley band Whale House works in the studio. The band’s first release was in 2010.
BAND CAM. Chippewa Valley band Whale House works in the studio.
The band’s first release was in 2010.

Whale House produces its signature melodic yet dissonant sound again with its newest two-song EP, Stand Out. It follows the band’s first release in 2010, From the Traps.

The new EP features the tunes “Stand Out” and “I Need You.” While the band’s sound has the same general feel, the members of Whale House say like they have embraced a multitude of improvisational tweaks to the new project.

“We like to keep things on the experimental side,” guitarist and vocalist Clayton Brice said. “That’s our primary goal when we play, especially when we play live.”

Playing live is something that the group is familiar with, as they even recorded the EP in a live setting. But a familiar setting is almost uncomfortable for Whale House. The local grunge/alternative rock band has numerous places that they can call home. They’ve been playing shows from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee, practicing in garages, basements, and even bedrooms, and that’s all while the three members live in three different cities. Guitarist and vocalist Caleb Price makes the trek from Madison to Eau Claire rehearse with Chippewa Valley residents Christopher Dunn and Brice at least once a week to keep their music fresh.

“Caleb and I have been writing together long enough that we’ve channeled our writing process. … We can work well in different cities,” Brice said. “We rehearse a lot, and it all seems to just work itself out.”

The formerly two-man group expanded to three after their first album, finding Dunn on Craigslist when they were in the market for a drummer. The chemistry they experienced during his audition was unmistakable, they said.

“I just sat down, starting drumming, and a smile just came over my face,” Dunn said.

“We feel lucky that we found Chris,” Brice added. “He’s a good fit personally and musically.”

That chemistry is what drives Stand Out, bringing the band to new heights. The plan is to record their musical fusion on multiple occasions over the next six months, eventually producing a full-length album. Stand Out is only the first step of that process.

“We record in February, and we’ll be releasing music over the course of the year,” Price said. “Clusters of songs in EPs like (Stand Out).”

Whale House has a short break to record before heading to Milwaukee for a show on Friday, March 7, at The Yield.

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