A lovingly crafted record, it was recorded live in one day and so the rawness you would expect from that chimes through in the careful melodies and intricate guitar solos that feature throughout the album.
Many of the songs here were written in the key of Em, due to lead singer and guitarist David Tattersal’s love of it, and so the featured solos all sound very recognisible harkening back to the surf rock bands of the 1960s.
Lyrically though, the songs are recognisibly modern-era British. The words are full of dark imagery – made all the more stark when juxtaposed by the more upbeat musicianship underlying them, a trick employed by any number of indie bands currently plying their trade in this country.
It is from this throng that The Wave Pictures are hoping to stand out, and despite the choices they have made that you would think would push them out of the pack, this album somehow amounts to less than the sum of its parts.
There is just a sense of slow, plodding to it. In places they have taken the surf rock sound they are emulating and slowed it down to almost a crawl. Track four, “Blink Back A Tear” is an example. An attempt at a bluesy number, the near four minute song, drags and drags until it hits a guitar solo which also stretches on until it smacks of self-indulgance.
Too many of the songs just somehow have too little happening and the lack of pace through the album – which comes in at a fairly lengthy 44 minutes – sucks the life out of it at times.
Full of good ideas and great intentions but it’s hard to see this as an album anyone would hold dear.
(Released through Moshi Moshi Records on 18th April 2011)