For what it’s worth, Freak Wave utilise their influences strongly. They’re not afraid to pillage the 90s for slick riffs and bellowing choruses, emotionally wrought through and through.
For the most part, this means that this is a rock fan’s wet dream. The riffs and solid, grungy baselines have all the hallmarks of Screamfeeder covering Dinosaur Jr. On songs like ‘Shoot For The Cure’ and ‘Threat? What Threat?’, you’d be hard pressed to find someone within earshot who hasn’t picked up an air guitar.
On top of this, it doesn’t hurt that vocalist Adrian Lombardi’s voice is a dead ringer for Ian MacKaye during his Fugazi-era.
However, sometimes Freak Wave have trouble hitting the mark of poignancy. The album is an undoubted rock fest, but sometimes there seems to be trouble capitalising on momentum, and sometimes, the band get a bit stuck in the dirt of their sound.
Whilst the album contains sucker-punches like ‘Tyre Kicker’, with an enormous, sludgy riff and pounding drums meant to swallow all expectations, there are songs that don’t quite soar to the heights that were perhaps intended (‘The Sleepers Must Awaken’, ‘Cat & the Cow’).
However, despite the hang-ups, Don’t Let Me Down remains a confident beast, with more than enough shredders to make up for the ditches.
Listen to ‘Shoot For The Cure’ from Don’t Let Me Down here:
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