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War Waves War Waves
Album: All That We Lack
Label: Backwater
Tracks: 11

God bless earnest young men with guitars for they speak a universal truth that the rest of us can point to feel we're not alone. Currently benefitting from a bit of a buzz industry-wise, War Waves come all the way from Ipswich but could be from anywhere and everywhere. Or nowhere.

The truth lies in unexpected places. It ebbs and flows, sometimes well within our grasp, other times well and truly beyond our reach. It's an elusive little blighter and pinning it down is like nailing jellyfish to a wall.

Such is the territory explored by War Waves on their second album. It's all big guitars and bigger choruses in search of a suitable arena in which to ignite. There are love songs that concentrate on the view and confessionals that speak of apparently minor themes. Truth is the devil is in the detail; the things that others don't see as important are the very things on which whole songs can hang on an album such as this.

There are extremes here - the relatively joyful major chords of Jean Season speak of relaxing, albeit in a very tense way; while This Black Dog wallows in the trough of despair although seemingly with an acknowledgement that things will look up in time. The album's opener, Spine - as in the thing that shivers should be sent up and down - is possibly post-punk's first anthem for anyone who feels their love is an act of surrender and serves as an ill-matched companion piece for the stirring lead single Horses with its refrain: 'I was never that strong for you…'

But don't for a moment think this is music made for the slopey of shoulder brigade. It's not. It's far more definite and much more partial. War Waves clearly mean it, they've turned up to life's pageant and they're putting their backs into making sense of it. Self doubt as positive expression.

See, they could be any of us, eh?

Nick Churchill