The Strangest Things

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New York City's Longwave moves beyond its Strokes connection and sharpen its glossy, slick, shoegazing guitar work for a stunning second album, The Strangest Things. Echoes of classic U2, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Swervedriver resonate throughout, but the maddening double guitar work of Steve Schlitz and Shannon Ferguson singles out the album's overall fullness. Schlitz's magnetic vocal warmth is a nice fit to the band's lush, melodic distortion, giving producer Dave Fridmann much clearance to capture Longwave's expansive, epic-like sound. From the dark ebb and flow of "Wake Me When It's Over" to "Everywhere You Turn"'s percussive trip, Longwave has already lured you into its blissful, chaotic haven. The swirling "I Know It's Coming Someday" is just as charming as Ride's "Vapour Trail"; punky electronic bits storm around "Exit," while "The Ghosts Around You" is a whisking lullaby of edgy riffs, a divine album standout. Fridmann's focus on the band's infectious, large sound allowed Longwave's glazed buzz and twitch to comfortably stand alone. The Strangest Things keeps things defined, never going out of bounds sonically for a classy effort.

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