50 Foot Wave – Golden Ocean – Review

50 Foot Wave

Golden Ocean (Throwing Music)
by Ari M. Joffe

If you don’t know who this band is and you haven’t heard their music, you better get off yer ass and find this disc, like NOW. OK, do you like rock music? No, I’m not talking about all this bullshit coming out of NY, the dudes playing keyboards with ’80s retro suits on and all that bunk. And I’m not referring to all this neo-garage rock stuff that sounds like wannabee Dead Boys and MC5. I’m talking about real rock music with big, slightly weird riffs and plaintive hooks that grab you. That’s 50 Foot Wave.

Remember Kristin Hersh? She was the singer/guitarist in this quirky little indie rock band called Throwing Muses back in the ’80s that, in one way or another, spawned both Belly and The Breeders. Well, the Muses kinda broke-up (but they kinda didn’t, long story), she went insane for a little while, had four kids, released a bunch of pretty cool laid back solo records, and then finally decided it was time to ROCK. Back in 2004, she got together with bassist Bernard Georges and drummer Rob Ahlers to put out 50 Foot Wave’s debut EP. The full-length, Golden Ocean, is just a continuation of the sound they’d begun to develop (there are even a few re-mixed, or re-recorded tracks from the EP found here). Tunes like “Bone China” and “Ginger Park” temper Hersh’s inherent quirkiness with straight-up sludge rock power. Think of some of the Muses’ more straight-ahead stuff mixed with Dinosaur Jr. and Melvins and you’ll get a sense of their sound. You get 11 awesome tunes here, all written, played, recorded, and mixed with fire. 50 Foot Wave is one of these bands that lets you know, regardless of whatever the flavor of the year is for 2005, that good, solid rock ‘n’ roll is alive and kicking.