Released: 24th February 2003.
Every year starts with the same thing, a plethora of rock and indie bands touted as "the next big thing". One of the contenders for that crown this year is Longwave - but is the praise justified?
Longwave (not to be confused with compatriots Longview - who are also hoping to make it big this year) are a typical four piece indie band, with vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer, and they make typical indie music. In fact, they are maybe so much like any other indie band that it might be their downfall, although whilst they are just like any other indie band... they're just as good. They've carved themselves a style somewhere between Idlewild and Radiohead, and what we have here is a very competent album of generally good indie songs.
Opener "Wake Me When It's Over" is a Radiohead-esque ballad that seems an obvious choice for a single, whilst "Everywhere You Turn" is a more upbeat number that could quite easily be found on a Doves album. It's the new single - and maybe as obvious a choice as the tracks either side of it. "The Pool Song" is the first single to have charted - and should surely get a re-release, after it became the track to break them into the chart at dizzy new heights of errr... No. 97! It's one of the more happy and tuneful songs on the album.
"I Know It's Coming Someday" is a downbeat Idlewild, the next track, "Meet Me At The Bottom" is quite possibly the most depressing song in the history of indie music, whilst "Can't Feel A Thing" manages just about to cross the boundary from depressing to beautiful - but only just, and then it's over in under a minute and a half. "Tidal Wave" makes you have to pinch yourself to convince you that you are not actually listening to Idlewild, whilst "The Ghosts Around You" and "All Sewn Up" are also scarily similar to the Scottish rockers - the latter sounding spectacularly like the single "These Wooden Ideas" at first.
"Exit" is a track which is sadly rather average. However, all is redeemed by "Strangest Things" which, whilst maybe not commercial enough to be a single, is a really good indie tune, and is actually a track which is starting to make Longwave sound different to the other bands around at the moment. The closing track, "Day Sleeper" is an interesting instrumental indie track, which, by the way, sounds nothing like the REM track of the same name!
Longwave are certainly a good tip for this year - with a tour of indie venues in the coming weeks, as well as support from a variety of music stations - including BBC 6 Music. This album, their second so far, is a competently produced collection of generally good indie songs even though they certainly don't break any new ground in music Let's hope their third album is slightly more inventive - because if it is, then it might be a truly amazing album.