Tiltawhirl (Arcwelder)

This LP
Big Money Inc., 1989

At the end of February, before winter finally loosens its icy grip and dreary grey days stack up so high that you can’t remember what the warmth of the sun feels like, the debut from this Minneapolis trio starts to sound pretty fuckin’ good. It sounds great any time of year, but the roughneck minor chord guitar and punchy rhythm section acknowledges that feeling of winter dread while also offering a glimmer of determined hope through sheer tough will. That and they’re from a city where subzero temperatures are obscenely common, so the association with coldness and winter is somewhat fitting. This record from Tiltawhirl (which became Arcwelder after the amusement park company that created the Tiltawhirl ride slapped the band with a cease and desist order) shows the band in a less rigid and polished form, full of mopey collegiate guitar rock that’s just noisy enough to distinguish itself from the legions of bands covering similar territory in that era. Just check out the gloomy bumout of “Blue” and the Killing Joke-esque punch of “It Won’t Change” as examples.


Tiltawhirl (Arcwelder) – “Blue”
Tiltawhirl (Arcwelder) – “Arcwelder”
Tiltawhirl (Arcwelder) – “It Won’t Change”


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