If you took Nirvana, threw in some screamo, and added just a hint of The Pixies, you’d get Dead Waves’ EP, Take Me Away. Imagine a mix of grunge, punk, and really angry garage rock with yelled vocals… so much yelling. Take Me Away is the first release for the New York City-based three-piece, due out December 10th. It’s a loud, messy collection of six tracks that range from a distorted-but-controlled grunge to all out cacophony.
The first single off of the album is “Over Me;” it’s an obvious choice of the six tracks that brings The Pixies to mind. It’s mellower than the cacophony heard on the opening track, “Planet of Tribes” and lacks the inhuman screaming of some of the other songs while reigning in the percussion (which is wild on tracks like “Which Way.”) While “Over Me” features distorted vocals like the rest of the album, one can almost make the words out on this one because the words are spoken more than screamed or sung. The percussion is controlled on this track with the cymbals giving almost delicate crashes compared to the rest of the album. Even the distorted guitar sounds more organized. It sounds clean and controlled in comparison to the rest of the album, but it’s still a fuzzy, distorted grunge/garage rock song.
As previously mentioned, most of the vocals are screamed. They are out of control, distorted, and wild. Though the band’s website proudly post about all of the deep themes that the music touches on, you likely won’t pick up on them from the distorted animalistic screams. I’ve read that some of the lyrics are about disillusionment and brotherly love, as two of the three members are brothers, but I never would have guessed if I hadn’t visited the band’s site. The messy vocals detract from songs like “Planet of Tribes” and “Which Way.” “Big Fish” features almost-whispered vocals in the verses (giving it a pleasant, Pixies-esque sound,) but the yelling returns for the chorus.
This is a loud grunge album. If Nirvana doesn’t quite capture your rage, this may be the album for you. If you like distinguishable words, skip it.