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Listening

Skywave, Don’t Say Slow

Soaring, searing noise-pop reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s best moments, this EP from up-and-coming Virginia band Skywave is eminently listenable and ultimately rewarding for those willing to dig deeper into the sound. The lead-off, title track grinds steadily along beneath a riff of pure distortion. The vocals are the real standout on the song, reverb-soaked as they are, and recalling little in the way of obvious shoegazer history, except, well good singing, with which this record is filled. Interesting vocal lines, melodies, and tone inject an undeniable fuel into many of the tracks. Not that they necessarily need any more, mind you: this EP drives along at a fairly breakneck speed.

‘Watch You Fade’ offers a catchy, snare-drum filled chorus, with washes of well-placed guitar distortion. The EP doesn’t seem to do this song much justice; their live performance of the song should be phenomenal. The production quality over the whole of the EP is understandably, budget-mindedly poor, but the songs don’t really suffer because of it; in fact, the murkiness that surrounds each song elicits the swirling, viscous quality of the music itself. Alternately, it may just be due payment their poor, overloaded amplifiers are giving them after years of intentional punishment.

The second half of the EP shifts gears with ‘Walk My Way,’ with its lazy, head-bopping beat and simple, well-written choral guitar lines, (again) incorporating relentless, ecstatic distortion washes. With the final track, ‘Seen It All,’ Skywave closes out with an epic in distortion that leaves you breathless, wanting for more. Wishing for more. Watch this band.

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Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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