So yesterday the post was Diego Garcia… I knew he was the frontman for Elefant, but had no real idea about the NYC post-punk scene they were apparently a part of.
A little research and voila! I had two new bands to check out… Longwave and Stellastar. Longwave grabbed me right off the bat… clearly. I need to sit with Stellastarr and the David Byrne meets Fred Schneider (B-52s) vocals for a little longer…
This is the first time, I think, that I let one post lead me right into the next one.
Longwave – The Strangest Things
This 2003 recording is their sophomore effort and comes three years after their debut Endsongs.
When they started back in 1999 they took their “influence from shoegaze pioneers and post-punk icons.” This is according to AllMusic. Just to make sure I understood what this meant, exactly, I went to the internet.
Wikipedia defines it as ” a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s.” It was “named this style shoegazing because the musicians in these bands stood relatively still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state, hence the idea that they were gazing at their shoes.”
“The shoegazing sound is typified by significant use of guitar effects, and indistinguishable vocal melodies that blend into the creative noise of the guitars.” Some also say that they were looking down in order to use all those effects pedals…
They list the following bands as early examples: Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine.
As they moved forward the comparisons to The Strokes, U2 and Echo & The Bunnymen came into play, and I think this is more apt. With their last album in 2008, they were also mentioned along with Snow Patrol.
When you plug them into Pandora, you get MGMT, Interpol, The Stills (digging on them) and even “World At Large” by Modest Mouse.
The point for me is that while this does sound like a lot of stuff out there, it is good and in good company!
The opening track starts with a jarring guitar before settling into a nice, slow punk pop tune that reminds me of The Plimsouls or even Simple Minds… and yes, I COULD hear this one in a few ’80s movies. Simple lyrics and melody, but it grabs you.
In “Everywhere You Turn” I can hear a lot of The Boxer Rebellion.
“Tidal Wave”, “The Ghosts Around You” and “All Sewn Up” are my other favorite tracks.
The album is a nice leisurely listen and I really enjoy Steve Schiltz’s soothing voice and big, fuzzy guitar. While I do not think it will blow you away, I think it will satisfy, especially if your soul is a bit confused and needs a little down time.