It isn’t hard to see how Glasgow-based band The Ninth Wave won best newcomer at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards last year; their debut EP Reformation introduces them as a kind of weird, arty, gothic mix of The Vaccines and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Currently touring Scotland (their Edinburgh date is on 26 October at The Mash House) this alternative rock band may be one to watch.
The first track ‘Heartfelt’ starts the collection at a high with echoing vocals over a strong drumbeat and ringing electric guitar. In this song and throughout the album vocal layering is very prominent, with the two lead singers taking turns to solo in the verses, and then singing in high harmonies in the choruses. This vocal layering especially comes into effect towards the end of the song, as the instrumental elements heap together. The next song ‘Pale White’, starts off slower and more mellow than the previous track, with light drums and guitar underneath electric piano in the introduction, followed by harmonized vocals.
As it goes on, the mood of the song intensifies with the opening piano hook repeating more frequently and further layering of vocal sounds and harmonies. The penultimate track ‘Liars’ is much more lyrically focused, with female vocals taking the lead. As with the previous track, it starts off a little slower but gains momentum as it goes on.
The final namesake track ‘Reformation’ defines the album: an easy to listen to, alternative rock number with heavy drums and guitar alongside the staple male/female harmonized vocals.
As with any first work, the songs are all vaguely similar, and perhaps could have done with more variation, however overall, Reformation is a solid and well-written EP.
IMAGE: Renegade Music