Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Longwave - Life of the Party EP

Longwave are a New York rock'n'roll band with who could be described as sounding like contemporaries of The Strokes, The Doves and The White Stripes, to name few. Far from having a one-dimensional sound, Longwave encompass garage rock, melodic symphonic pop elements, acoustic guitar and spacey-ambience throughout this very enjoyable EP.

Longwave don't have a unique, identifiable sound. Vocalist Steve Schlitz isn't a singer who's style you can call his own. Despite this, Longwave's strength lies in their diversity and in their ability to compose with feeling and melody, if not attitude.

The EP begins with the whimsical pop of "Life of the Party",a mid-tempo, contemplative tune that if anything, feels too short. It has colour and character, with its distorted vocals and promises more worthwhile music from these guys.

Rocking the garage, "We're Not Gonna Crack" almost sounds like a different band. It's a fast, driving song, but it doesn't sound particularly catchy or unique.

Hold onto your hats. The pop gem promise of the EP is more than fullfilled by the gorgeous "Here It Comes." Stick this into a mainstream Hollywqood film soundtrack and watch it become a massive hit. The track shimmers with orchestration but at no point does it lose its' indie feel to it.

Sounding almost Neil Young-ish, "There's A Fire" is an acoustic number in which you can clearly hear Schlitz' unexceptional but acceptable vocals. It's not essential listening, however.

The final track, "Sunday Nite Health" begins with spacey-ambient sounds before the indie pop drums weigh in. It's an instrumental with delicate bells and percussion but it's like an unfinished ending to a film. You keep on waiting for it to wrap up in one neat package.

The Life of the Party EP is not overly sensational but it does whet one's appetite for the full-lengh CD, which is being produced by John Leckie of Radiohead and Stone Roses fame.

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