Being a fan of indie / progressive music, I was delighted to learn of the existence of the local group Strange Waves. I had assumed that the progressive music scene in the Shoals simply didn’t exist. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
The group Strange Waves is graced with the talents of Evan Sandy (drums), Joseph Whitehead (bass), Jeremy Couch (vocals, guitar), and Jackson Gillreath (lead vocals, guitar). On the Walls album, most of the vocals are provided by Gillreath, though Couch and Whitehead make vocal appearances on some of the later tracks.
I was really surprised by the first track of Walls titled The Swan. The reverberating guitar was expertly crafted into a very pleasing, light intro. The drums and slow vocals drive a very unique and self-contained melody that whets the appetite for the rest of the album.
The introduction riffs to the 38th Parallel are nothing short of awesome. They lead into a vocal-lead groove that will probably have your head bopping in just a few measures. The organ is phenomenal.
The clipped harmonic start to Circles is quite interesting. The real gem of this song though lies at its end. They really experiment at the end and break the mold that the rest of the song cast. The triplet near the end is strangely satisfying.
Song for the Living seems like a deeper cut. The chorus is especially appealing, though, and is quite catchy.
There’s some awesome guitar dubbing and shoegazing vocals in Image. It creates an interesting atmospheric experience.
I really enjoyed the vocal harmonies on Son of Many Sons. The guitar solo that starts around 4 minutes in its excellent, and I loved its organ/guitar fuzz ending.
Wolves is the downtempo track of the album. It’s a nice acoustic-heavy, lyric-prominent song that comes across as quite authentic. Good stuff.
Make Bobby Proud’s raw vocals and cascading guitar arpeggios make for a really good listening experience. It is tracks like this that really showcase the band’s talents and demonstrates how well their sounds mesh together.
Walls, the album’s title track, takes a minute to decide exactly what it wants to be. Once it commits though and the excellent guitar riffs really open things up, you’re left with a great song.
Strange Waves reminds me of a bit harder Lunatic Soul crossed with a bit of Amusement Parks on Fire. The subtle blues elements they weave into their indie/alternative/progressive stylings fit beautifuly. Even though I’m not a big blues fan, the sprinklings they put into Waves are certainly welcome. Greg Scheshe, sound engineer, crafts an extremely clean production that helps you really enjoy the subtle ring of the guitars and temperament of the organ.
Go listen to the album on YouTube, but be warned – you’ll have several of the tunes stuck in your head for days! When the album is available on CD Baby, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon MP3, Spotify, and Rhapsody, we’ll update the links here and on Facebook/Twitter.
This band is on the cutting edge of indie. And they’re just getting started. I’m going to keep my eye on Strange Waves. They’re yet another shining example of why we should be proud of our musical heritage.
Strange Waves Links