Whitehorse – Panther In The Dollhouse

Whitehorse - Panther In The DollhouseWhitehorse steps away from the biting wild west of their last record and instead bring it to the back alleys of small-town Canada with Panther In The Dollhouse. This time around, they’ve slightly tamed their sound, extinguishing some of the fiery guitars and adding in a mix of keyboards and electronic drums. That might be a turn-off to those who expect their heavy brashy guitars and seductive harmonies, but don’t let the change fool you. They’re still full of attitude and style as they comb the last 30 years of Canadiana to bring together on one album. And they’ve still got a story to tell, touching on the social issues involving sex politics, prostitution, and sexual relationships. They even paired with sex columnist Dan Savage in a recent podcast. Such subject matter requires a smoother, even subdued musical delivery as Luke Doucet’s guitar settles in behind the beats, keys and harmonies between him and Melissa McClelland. The album contains some of their best songs to date, such as the punching ballad Die Alone, the soothing yet yearning Kicking Down Your Door, and the gritty pop of Nighthawks. Panther In The Dollhouse isn’t a complete 180 but it’s a big enough step to count as a major shift from their already broad discography. It was a bold move but with it, they delivered one of the year’s best.
Five stars

1. Epitaph In Tongues
2. Boys Like You
3. Die Alone
4. Trophy Wife
5. Pink Kimono
6. Kicking Down Your Door
7. Gracie
8. I Can’t Take You With Me (Charlene’s Theme)
9. Nighthawks
10. Manitoba Death Star

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