The Irish band Whipping Boy was Fearghal McKee (vocals, guitar) Paul Page (guitar), Myles McDonnell (bass, backing vocals) and Colm Hassett (drums). Reformed in 2011 only McKee and Hassett remain from the original band, the new members are Finn O’Connor, Killian McGowan and Joey McGowan (bass).
The bands early shows have been described as
white-noise and strobe drenched affairs
with the audience apparently there, more often then not, to witness frontman
McKee’s compelling brand of insanity.
The group’s debut, 1992’s, Submarine,
with its swirling guitar sounds, oblique lyrics and psychedelic fuzz
shows the influence that groups like Spaceman 3 and Sonic Youth had on the fledgling band’s sound.
By the time the group released Heartworm they had developed their own sound.
In issue #39 of The Big Takeover Heartworm would be #2 on editor Jack Rabid’s Top 40 list. In his review of the album he states
Light years ahead of this Irish quartet’s obscure, out-of-print debut Submarine… this sophomore LP is no “slump.” Instead, it’s filled with tense guitars, on-the-brink anxiety, guts, brains and fantastic production…
Heartworm was described by one writer
It is populated by… ‘good people fucking up and fucked up people doing their best to be good’
and both The Honeymoon Is Over and We Don’t Need Nobody Else, with their blunt references to spousal abuse make that case abundantly clear.
The tender Morning Rise and the “comic wonder of existence,” Personality serve as a counter balance to the negativity of the fore mentioned songs.
With McKee’s readiness to lay bare his soul and the band’s increasingly powerful live performances the band toured Europe with Lou Reed, but just when it seemed that the world beyond Ireland was starting to take notice the band broke up.
In 2000 a new label, Low Rent, released the eponymously titled Whipping Boy but with no tour in support of the album nothing much came of it.
A tentative comeback in 2005 went nowhere, but in 2011 the band reform and perform at a number of events around Ireland.
This year the UK’s Rocket Girl label released a new Whipping Boy digital single, No One Takes Prisoners Anymore / Earth’s Last Picture.
Submarine (CD, LP) Liquid Records UK 1992
Submarine (Cass) Liquid Records Ireland 1992
Submarine (CD, Digital) Whipping Boy Recordings 2006
Heartworm (Cass, CD, LP) Columbia UK 1995
Heartworm (CD) Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) 1995
Heartworm (CD) Columbia Canada 1995
Heartworm (Cass, CD, Digital) Columbia US 1996
Whipping Boy (CD) Low Rent 2000
Singles & EPs:
Whipping Boy (12″ EP) Cheree Records 1990
I Think I Miss You (12″ EP) Cheree Records 1990
Favourite Sister (7″) Liquid 1992
When We Were Young (7″ Red) Columbia UK 1995
When We Were Young (CD Maxi) Columbia UK 1995
When We Were Young (CD Single) Columbia UK 1995
When We Were Young (Cass Single) Columbia UK 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (7″ Single) Columbia UK 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (CD Maxi) Columbia UK 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (CD Maxi) Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (CD Single) Columbia UK 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (CD Single) Columbia France 1995
We Don’t Need Nobody Else (CD Single) Columbia Europe 1995
Tripped (Flexi, 7″) Columbia 1995
Twinkle (7″ Single) Columbia UK 1995
Twinkle (She’s The Only One For Me) (CD Single) Columbia US 1995
Twinkle (7″) Columbia UK 1995
Twinkle (CD Maxi) Sony Music Entertainment (UK) 1995
Twinkle (CD Maxi) Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) 1995
Twinkle (CD Maxi) Columbia UK 1996
Twinkle (CD Single) Columbia UK 1996
“Sugar I Swear” My Cheree Amour (CD) Cheree Records 1991
“Twinkle” Buy British (2xCD) Dragnet Records, Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) 1995
“Twinkle” The Big Buzz: More Fuzz (CD) Columbia 1995
“Twinkle” What’s New April/Mai ’96 (CD) Columbia 1996
“The Honeymoon Is Over” De Mix Vol.2 (CD) Sony Music 1996
“We Don’t Need Nobody Else” Sounds Of 96 Vol. 2 (CD) Musikexpress, Epic 1996
“Twinkle” Shine 5 (2xCD) PolyGram TV 1996
“Twinkle” New Voices Vol. 5 (CD) Rolling Stone (Germany) 1996
“Suspicious Minds” Natural Born Elvis (CD) Dam Good Productions 1998
“We Don’t Need Nobody Else” Tom Dunne’s 30 Best Irish Hits Vol. 2 (2xCD) Solid Records 2001
“Disappointed” Sounds Of The Vault-Compilation Volume 1 (CDr Unofficial) Not On Label (Marc Berger Self Released) 2001
“We Don’t Need Nobody Else” Dave Fanning’s Fab 50 (3xCD) EMI Records 2005
“When We Were Young” Alternative (5xCD) Sony Music 2010
Black Sessions (Paris 21 1996) (Cdr Bootleg)
Live at The Junction Cambridge (21 May 1996) (Cdr Bootleg)
Live at the Astoria London (29 May 1996) (Cdr Bootleg)
Live in the Red Box, Dublin (Feb.18.1997) (Cdr Bootleg)
Whipping Boy – The Black Sessions (CDr, Unofficial) Sangatte Records 2009
Playing Time: 44:24
1. Twinkle (5:01)
2. When We Were Young (2:51)
3. Tripped (3:45)
4. The Honeymoon Is Over (3:38)
5. We Don’t Need Nobody Else (4:17)
6. Blinded (3:54)
7. Personality (4:27)
8. Users (3:55)
9. Fiction (3:25)
10. Morning Rise / A Natural (9:11)
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