For a self-proclaimed noise-rock band, the music on WAVE’s newest EP, Jurassic Parkour, is pretty clean, in a bland way. It is the type of music that can certainly get away with being raunchy, and I wish the proper steps were taken to get the most grit out of their sound during pre and post production. That said, the British duo have a handful of tracks on this EP that, if production quality doesn’t phase you, are a solid edition to the ever-growing amount of hard rock music out there.
The intro song, “Jaime,” is as good as any to introduce the band’s sound and how they like to structure their songs. Rather than a standard verse-chorus format, they go for a verse with guitar riffs between each lyric before eventually transitioning into a breakdown. In fact, there’s only one proper chorus on the EP. It’s on the following track, “Gwen,” and is Jurassic Parkour’s strongest song of the bunch. The other songs substitute the traditional chorus for a repetition of a guitar riff before switching to a breakdown for the second half, which leads me to my second biggest problem with the EP.
The songs featured on Jurassic Parkour are pretty solid, but some of these breakdowns can last up to a minute and a half before vocals get layered overtop of them, and there’s very little that’s done to retain the listener’s attention during that period. There are ways to make the music progressively heavier, but WAVE doesn’t experiment beyond slowing the tempo or adding a guitar track to the mix. There are plenty of tones and subtleties the band and their engineer could have used to slowly build those breakdowns into the climax they tried to achieve.
“Interlele,” an interlude played on ukulele, is the EP’s halfway point and makes for a different change of pace. The song’s not anything special and sounds like it was written in 15-minutes, but the hate-filled lyrical themes over such an innocent series of chords make for a comical twist to the EP. Things pick right back up again with “Douglas,” followed by “PJ,” another repetitive riff with some sloppy double kick that barely cuts through the toms. But the EP does end on a good note, with Dave Musson’s most impressive vocal performance, a chilling scream followed by a laugh and a “Do you need a glass of water?” from the engineer.
Despite my complaints, Jurassic Parkour is a fun EP that probably wasn’t taken as seriously as the angsty tone of the songs might suggest, but it is good to see that kind of light-heartedness. It’s a tough balance to strike, and I think WAVE can afford to pull it off if they strengthen the aspect that matters most, which is their overall sound. Record the drums in a garage, beef up the guitar tones, and don’t be afraid to experiment in post; the results will be massive. There’s a ton that can be done for the band’s third release to fit that noise-rock mould a lot better.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy