THE WAVELENGTHS are a new four-piece based out of Tempe, Arizona. Their self-titled debut EP, out now on Rubber Brothers Records, rolls into shore with eight neurotic psych-pop tracks that blend inventive songcraft with garage raucousness.
The band is Cody Inglis on bass, Evan Bisbee on keys, Zack Parker on guitar, and Isaac Parker on drums, with everyone but the drummer sharing vocal duties. In the past year they’ve made rounds on the Phoenix/Tempe circuit, dropped a pair of cool music videos, and were featured on the recent Puppy Love mixtape from Rubber Brothers.
The Wavelengths’ EP, which is available on cassette, features some fairly sophisticated musicianship, but never loses its snotty, freewheeling edge. Musically, it pays homage to mid-60s garage-psych greats, but moves the style forward by experimenting with a range of tones, rhythm breaks, and key changes.
Chalky organ lines riff wildly off of tremolo- and reverb-heavy guitars in “The Wavelengths,” the instrumental opener, and “Lenses,” a sun-soaked head-nodder. “(Oh Man) It’s A Drag” bounces between fast, choppy verses and slovenly choruses that lose tempo completely — it’s a fun, chaotic hit that plays like the frustrated rush to work after a long night of drinking. “Hot Box” is similarly twitchy, with more great interplay between guitar and keys. Other songs including “Take It Sleazy” and the blues rocker “Devil Woman” have more of a classic feel, while the Wavelengths verge on punk with “I Don’t Wanna” (it’s even got a Ramones-esque title) and delve into spaced-out noise on “Ikemad,” the closer.
Throughout the roughly 25 minutes of music, the band maintains a party-in-the-studio air, almost in spite of the EP’s nuanced production. Tracks begin with stick clicks, false starts, and talkover (“Can you turn the master up? Never mind, it’s up. [Laughs]”), and if the lyrics are any indicator, these guys probably had a ball writing together (“When you say hello I try to be polite / But still I find it’s hard to keep my eyes from your thighs / Ow!”).
This is a well-honed first effort. The Wavelengths clearly put a lot of time into developing these songs and a coherent sound overall, leaving a lot to look forward to in their next moves.
My Rating: SS
Genre/ Tags: Garage Rock, Psychedelic, Pop
The Wavelengths CS: Tracklist:
1.) The Wavelengths
2.) Hot Box
3.) (Oh Man) It’s a Drag
4.) Take it Sleazy
6.) Devil Woman
7.) I Don’t Wanna