They're a band that I had underestimated. Their previous EPs and singles were cool, but not necessarily enough to get too excited over. But Art at MuSick Records usually seems to know what he's doing, and when I saw their pre-release LP at the SG101 Convention that trust in him, combined with the record-buying part of my brain being very stimulated at the time, was enough for me to jump on it. And I'm glad I did.
Art tells me that even the previously released songs on this record were re-recorded, and though they sound exactly the same to me (not that I've listened to them next to each other), I've found myself pretty jazzed about songs like "Shot in the Head" and "Fantasmatron" that before I thought were merely pretty good. There's something, if you'll forgive me, electric in these recordings. The band sounds excited to be recording them, and that energy carries from one song to the next, as if the whole record were one take.
I'm writing this review of Wave Electric immediately after reviewing The Wave Chargers simply because I find the juxtoposition of their names funny.
They employ a fairly standard surf sound but the result feels pretty unrestrained and fun-first. It always reads as a surf record, but there's some twangy, guitar boogie bits, a dip into ska, and even a metal-ish breakdown -- diverse songwriting but cohesive sound. The first half or so of the record just powers through with wild energy and great melodies, then it coasts into into something a little more easy. Before it feels like it's dragging though "Cesenatico" and "A Song for Dick" punch it in for a strong finish, making me think "damn, we're still going!" when I first heard it.
I think there's a lot to like and to impress on here -- it's flashy and challenging in many ways, but it's played in such a way that it feels effortless. This record made a big impression with me on first listen, and I'm getting more out of it with each subsequent spin.