REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

War Waves Pour Raw Emotion Into Self Titled Debut

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

With the release of their debut album just over a month gone, War Waves put themselves on the line with a sincere record, laden with raw emotion. Definitely something worth noticing.

War Waves Album Artwork
The Ipswich four piece was first pulled together by vocalist and guitarist, Mark Newby, in an attempt to win back the love of his life.  As well as guitarist Andrew Girling, bassist and drummer brothers James and David Booty joined Newby's crusade and thus formed War Waves. From there they went on to work with Backwater Record's Steve Mann, as they prepped their debut album, which dropped on the 1st of May this year. With strong 70's influences (thanks to Steve Mann),  the album bears a strong resemblance to The Gaslight Anthem, and Brian Fallon fronted band, The Horrible Crowes, but also a similarity to The Smiths, The Mezzingers and quite reminds me of Frank Turner. The first track on the album, "My Friend's Wedding", although explicit, is an example of Newby's post break-up songwriting. Heart-on-your-sleeve type lyrics, casually sang over a steady melody. "Shortstop", starts slowly and then kicks in with a really pleasing folky feel that really takes the track to a different level. The twang of the guitar and soft gallop of drums carry Newby's voice toward a nice, little guitar solo, before the song fades out.

"Signals", A personal favourite, has a lovely tempo and kind of reminds me of The Cure, which is a good thing of course. The chirpy track showcases some more instrumental work with Newby's nicely accented voice following melodically.

Slowing things down, is 'Fountains', which also marks the halfway point of their self-titled album. Very simple, very live-lounge and very vulnerable - a touching song that seeps emotion. My favourite bit comes at around four minutes in, when Newby's screams, almost distant, are raw and powerful.

"Hockey Stick", in my opinion, is Newby's finest vocal display and I can't help but wish it was a bit more prominent throughout the record. It carries incredibly well and has a slightly rough edge to it, which keeps the listener's ears happy.

The final track "Megamouth" is a soft and warm minimalist track. Even though there isn't to much in to it, it does well with just an acoustic guitar and a voice and somehow still feels like a really big song.

War Waves is organic, real and good. War Waves is the band you should also be listening to.

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click here Words by Renette van der Merwe