Chris Connelly

Whiplash Boychild

Chris Connelly - Whiplash Boychild ©1991 Wax Trax!
1. Daredevil
2. Ghost Of A Saint
3. This Edge Of Midnight
4. The Last Of Joy
5. The Amorous Humphrey Plugg
6. Stowaway
7. The Hawk, The Butcher, The Killer Of Beauties
8. The Game Is All Yours
9. Confessions Of The Highest Bidder
10. Stowaway (Daydream Mix)

Chris Connelly is one of those figures in industrial music that is essentially unavoidable. From his involvement in Minstry and Revolting Cocks to a whole bevy of other projects, Connelly has been there all along. Eventually he finally took off on his own solo adventure and Whiplash Boychild is his first effort.

To those who might only be familiar with his rasping and weird voices from RevCo and Ministry, Whiplash Boychild might indeed make your neck snap from coming to attention too quickly. Even though there is plenty of involvement from other Ministry-axis types, such as Bill Rieflin, the sound is far from the more grating industrialized music of Ministry. Moreover, it turns out Connelly possesses a deep, Bowie-esque voice that is quite rich and interesting. In fact, if Bowie ever needed an understudy, Connelly could step in at any time and not miss a note. Musically, the music on Whiplash Boychild covers a whole lot of territory, like some sprawling Canadian province. Some of the songs are percussive and hint at more of a Killing Joke influence than Ministry. But tracks such as the cover of Scott Walker's "The Amorous Humphrey Plugg" are a complete turnabout and surprise, as Connelly croons caberet over a piano. Other tracks are rather deconstructed and feature soundscape tendencies as opposed to straightforward songwriting.

The wandering nature of Whiplash Boychild makes it a somewhat uneven listen, although generally good. Because the latter half of the album sometimes gets loose and floppy, giving listeners a bit too much experimentalism, Whiplash Boychild is an album that's easy to overlook when picking out something to listen to. However, Connelly's talent as a singer is very much in full force here and those who want to hear Wax Trax's version of the Thin White Duke (who may in fact not be nearly as thin) should definitely pick this one up.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2003

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