In a music scene dominated by the noisy angry rock of overgrown adolescents like Limp Bizkit and the catchy superficiality of bands like Nine Days, New York City-based Longwave would undoubtedly get lost. Recalling the earlier days of Radiohead and jangly-guitar work of U2, Longwave’s debut Endsongs possesses a dark subtlety that is fascinatingly challenging in light of most of today’s empty modern rock. Endsongs proves Longwave to be a band to watch.
Owing much to the more pessimistic side of Brit-pop, Longwave crafts songs tinged by loss and sorrow but also reveal thoughtfulness and understanding. Lead singer Steve Schiltz’s gentle voice, combined with the almost ethereal instrumentation, create moody atmospheric music that is as entertaining as it is compelling. Longwave’s passion shines through in all their songs.
Transitioning between playful catchiness to sullen heartache, Longwave’s lyrics are quietly poignant without having to try. “I know you are my best kept secretbest kept away” on “Best Kept Secret” is delivered with such amusement that it obvious Longwave isn’t striving to prove how clever they are. In the melancholy “Something,” the simple words mirror the reflective sound of the song. Not trying to be poets, but merely sincere, Longwave’s lyrics sometimes are lost in the music, but do provide a perfect compliment to these songs.
Endsongs does travel down a pretty even path, however, never deviating much from an even tempo. As a consequence, the songs tend to blend themselves together, not letting any individual song stand out from any of the others. This would otherwise be a complaint, but it manages to work for Endsongs, creating a very focused mood and a coherence that the album might not otherwise have.
As a debut effort, Longwave’s Endsongs comes across as extremely competent and relaxed, revealing an amazing amount of skill and grace for a band that’s only been together for a little under a year. Longwave undoubtedly will continue to grow and develop their sound, and they can only get better from here.
// Notes from the Road
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