Tearwave's debut album finds the Buffalo quartet more placing itself for a promising future than making an immediately distinct mark -- the group has its blend of dark goth power and glazed shoegaze down excellently, but it's not immediately developed beyond that. As a result, the self-titled release is mostly an enjoyable genre exercise that will appeal to those already converted to the general approach, though one that has a lot of promise for the group's future. Singer Jennifer Manganiello has the necessary dreamily beautiful voice for such work, while the other bandmembers work all the steady pacing and digital delay pedal work necessary, with guitarist/keyboardist Doug White's efforts setting the overall tone of the songs. At Tearwave's best, they aim for a powerful if still carefully used melodrama -- "Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul," the album's best effort, follows up the introductory "Crimson Interlude" with a massive riff and a drum line that could almost be a Black Sabbath death march reconfigured for a newer generation. Somewhat more typical are songs like the almost parodically titled "Dream Bliss" (which perfectly lives up to its name, down to the extended guitar-only conclusion) and "Lotus Flower," but a stronger, almost stately atmosphere crops up throughout, especially on "Emotional Cocoon" and "Trial by Fire." Tearwave's future looks to shine brighter if that truly darker side in their work comes further to the fore for greater development, but it's still a good way to make an initial mark.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett