By Jason Leger
Wavves – ‘Afraid of Heights’
I’m going to be honest, in the past when I’ve thought of the band Wavves, the words “smart” and “cohesive” have never come to mind. With the release of their new long-player, “Afraid of Heights,” the band turned most of the notions I conceived during their first two albums on their presumptuous ears. Being mostly the brainchild of frontman Nathan Williams, Wavves have been churning out surf punk gems for the better part of the past six years while always doing things their own way. While “Afraid of Heights” is the band’s major label debut, this DIY ethos has not taken much of a blow. Most of the album was recorded with out-of-pocket funding from Williams himself, before the label was involved. I listened to “Afraid of Heights” five times in the course of two days. While production is much more polished than any previous release, the album has a grunge feel to it in the vein of Mudhoney or Nirvana, along with the pop punk sensibilities of early Green Day. Kurt Cobain’s influence on this album is impossible to miss. The first two singles, “Sail To The Sun” and “Demon To Lean On,” which have been floating around the Internet for the past couple of months, start the album off and play a very strong role in setting the tone for the entire 42-minute affair. Highlights for me are “Lunge Forward,” “Dog,” and the aforementioned “Demon To Lean On,” but the absolute stand out track is tucked right in the center of the album. “Cop,” which clocks in at just under two minutes, is a very oddball love song—I won’t divulge the details here—and sounds like Ariel Pink takes the reigns. The album really displays Williams’ progression as a songwriter coming into his own. “Afraid of Heights” is out now via Mom & Pop Records/Warner Bros and would be a great addition to your spring/summer soundtrack.
P.S. Pay attention while you’re listening and see if you can spot indie rock royalty, Ms. Jenny Lewis. If you blink, you’ll miss her.
Telekinesis – “Dormarion”
Subtle lush layers, catchy pop sensibilities, and hooks that will float breezily around your head for days, these are the things which define Telekinesis’ new LP, “Dormarion.” Michael Benjamin Lerner, the creative force behind Telekinesis, never seems to have a problem with writing music that is easy to sing along with and get caught up in. His third full length for Merge Records, “Dormarion” is no different with its polished sound and eclectic backdrop of styles. It’s a tad difficult for me to pick a favorite song, since I’ve only listened a few times, however there is a song that grabbed me and made me pay attention. As I’m a sucker for a well-written love song, “Symphony” hooked me on the very first listen. “Was it a dream or were you just a scheme? I don’t care, I’m alive and I’m well,” Lerner sings in the opening lines of this 3-minute confession to the one he loves. It’s a feeling most, if not all of us can connect to. The album’s first single is “Ghosts And Creatures,” and has been treated to a very oddball-yet-hilarious video involving a love affair with a woman on a computer screen. I highly recommend watching it on Vimeo. “Dormarion” is out now via Merge Records and has the dreaminess and upbeat feel you need for a soundtrack to Florida sunshine.
Feel like picking up one or both of these albums? Head over to Revolver Records and talk to Eric. If he doesn’t have one of them in stock, he will be more than happy to order it for you.
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