The Strangest Things (RCA)
by Tim Den
What the hell happened!? Don’t tell me Longwave blew their best tracks on last year’s Day Sleeper EP? Alas, it would seem so. The Strangest Things is unfortunately as bland as its predecessor was glorious: All pretty pastel colors, Plain Jane-ing the songwriting right into Blandsville.
Not only is “Day Sleeper” – once the panoramic opener of the EP by the same name – relegated to last track status (totally throwing off the impact of the song), almost every song here functions on “three chords, add delay, stir in monotonous vocals.” Every lyric opens with “when I was…,” every guitar line sounds interchangeable, and every melody hook feels as flat as Florida. Nothing ever happens! The album cruises along to a soundtrack of uneventfulness, until “Day Sleeper” awkwardly shows up misplaced and finally buries the whole procession. Not only do Longwave never fully rock out on The Strangest Things, they don’t even make good use of the un-rockingness by really “going for it” with the vocal melodies (often the only savior of the un-rocking). And what a waste of producer/engineer extraordinaire Dave Fridmann: Even his usual array of swarming audiorgasms are limited to fuzzy nonsense here.
Pick up Day Sleeper EP and stay as far away from The Strangest Things as possible. Cuz the former will make you believe that The Next Big Thing has arrived, and the latter will empty you of all hope in indie rock.