The rest of the UK might be losing their minds over the fact that the sun has come out, but here at Musical Outcast towers I’m not fazed by such madness as ‘summertime.’ The temperature might have finally have crept above the number of girls who have turned me down in the last two weeks but the music doesn’t stop, so say hello to The Blue Waves.
Hailing from Blackpool the band is made up of George Edmondson (Vocals, guitar) Cameron Redfern (Lead guitar) Will Easton (Bass) and Elliot Gaspar. (Drums) Formed back in 2013 Wild Nights & Break Up Fights is the band’s brilliantly titled new EP and here’s what I made of it.
Powered by a simple guitar melody opening track Thunderball is instantly catchy and a great introduction to the band. They are all about those catchy little riffs coupled with witty straight to the point style lyrics. Lyrically they are not that far away from early Streets but in terms of style they are pretty close to the Arctic Monkeys, something which is both a gift and a curse but more of that in a minute. Here though the band are on fine form with the guitar solo in particular being a thing of gritty, fuzzy beauty. The start of said solo is also remarkably similar to some of the guitar work by Hendrix on his version of Come On (Let Good Times Roll) God knows if it’s intentional, but I love it.
Following track Legit Problem is the best track on this record, and I say that without any kind of hesitation. Making music which people can relate to is a brilliant skill and here the band have produced the kind of ‘everyman indie’ which will have men up and down the land smiling along.
There’s this one problem with our relationship, it’s that you’re always out with him. And I’d like to say that it’s not a problem but it clearly is.
Now I know personally that I had a relationship that was closer to those lyrics than I care to remember and I’m sure as hell that I’m not the only one. More than solid musically and lyrically featuring some brilliant turns of phrase this track isn’t meant to be overtly funny but it had me grinning from ear to ear; definite winner.
Following the previous track I was hoping that the rest of the EP would really kick on but things kind of stall a little bit. The title track is far from being a bad song it just didn’t grab me as much as the previous couple of tunes. The track is a lot slower and lacks the zip of the opening couple of songs and while I think that the band has the skillset to pull off slower tunes I don’t think that song is it. There’s nothing obviously wrong with the track I just don’t think that it will ever be anything more than a 6/10, it’s just ok. That being said once again I love the guitar solo, totally different style to the opener but equally as hypnotic.
I mentioned earlier on about the Arctic Monkeys influence being a gift and a curse and penultimate track Raised Right Lip is a brilliant demonstration of what I meant. The positive side is lyrics like;
She’s drinking beer she’s fucked off the wine, guess she’s one of the boys now.
Which wouldn’t look out of place on the Sheffield natives’ debut but the negative is that this track is just too Arctic Monkeys. Frontman Edmondson slips too far into Alex Turner mode and all of the riffs and melodies come together to produce what if I’m being perfectly blunt sounds like an Arctic Monkeys B-Side. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the tune itself, it’s just too close to Arctic Monkeys tribute act territory.
Final track, a re-recording of Running For The Bus is an interesting one. The band has moved slightly away from the grittiness of the previous songs with everything just sounding crisper and cleaner. The riffs, the solos, the melodies, everything feels a hell of a lot more polished. I don’t know if this is deliberate or if the song just came out like that but I like it, for one it shows that the band could take their music in a decidedly more melodic direction if they wanted which would be interesting. It’s a really good way to finish off the record; I like the track a lot. It’s more refined and less balls to the wall, the change is subtle yet noticeable and equally effortless.
Despite what I said about the Arctic Monkeys thing earlier on, I can’t be negative about this record. There’s just too much that’s good about it, I just feel the band need to be careful about not being ‘over-influenced’ if that makes sense. Lyrically the band possess a brilliant turn of phrase and the ability to write relatable songs in an original way mixed in with the riffs, melodies and in places down right gritty guitar work is a brilliantly effective formula.
I think the Blue Waves are going to just keep getting better and better. They may not have completely nailed it on Wild Nights & Break Up Fights but they were mighty close and with a bit of fine tuning the future looks incredibly bright for these four young men from Blackpool.
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