Today, we have for you a special pre-release review of Across the Map by WɅVE & ROME.
When I first listened to Across the Map, the experience carried a certain type of familiarity. The sounds weren’t bringing back any particular memory, but rather something about the way I felt when listening to the music struck a chord that reminded me of some other artist that I had heard. When the third song, “Hands Over Eyes” started playing, I remembered what band it was: Bad Suns.
Last summer, Bad Suns took the indie pop-rock scene by storm. “Cardiac Arrest” was an earworm that could be heard on any given alternative station at any given time. They weren’t necessarily a one-hit wonder; their debut Language and Perspective was musically decent. They started to develop quite a following and became known for captivating live shows. Then, once the rain and clouds and weather of autumn began to surface, they seemed to drop off the face of the earth. Nevertheless, they made an impact while they were around, and their energy captivated many.
From their first single, I felt that WɅVE & ROME carried an energy and momentum similar to that of Bad Suns. I was able to listen to the single and remixes in one sitting without tiring of the song (that’s six times in a row). The band picked up a following on social media rather quickly. And, now having listened to the EP, I feel even stronger about my initial assessment: this band is going places fast.
The main (and perhaps only) drawback to this release is it seems a bit too polished, leaning into being overwrought. There seems to be a lack of organic touch, and the release feels cold on the whole. The lyrics are more thoughtful than most in their genre, which will help sustain WɅVE & ROME’s momentum; but there isn’t much of an emotional tug. “Took Flight” is the least remarkable track on the release, without much to it that is memorable.
Nevertheless, Across the Map is a solid batch of tunes that will certainly be a summer staple for 2015. “Hands Over Eyes” has already made an appearance on television, “Wandering Wolf” tells a compelling narrative in its lyrics, and “Strangers” gives the EP a strong finish, whetting our appetites for a full-length. The EP’s accessible, basic indie-rock sound clearly draws from Sam Tinnesz’s musical strengths while still remaining differentiable from the rest of the crowd. You’ll be able to recognize a WɅVE & ROME song when you hear it, and you can count on hearing them in all sorts of places in the near future. While Across the Map may not be earth-shaking on its own, it represents the inception of a band that will be.
You can read our interview with Sam Tinnesz here. Be sure to check out the band on the Internets (pretty much anywhere that other bands can be found, they’re there). The EP is also streaming now over at Baeble Music.