Release Date: Oct 21, 2013
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Is anything more boring than a guitar solo? For every exquisite blues jam from Hendrix or Page there’s a million, billion widdley-widdley space-filling show-offs getting in the way of the next chorus. They have their place, and that place is 1974... unless you’re The Wave Pictures’ Dave Tattersall. He’s not Eddie van Halen or Randy Rhodes, he’s better - technically he’s all over the shop, but that’s not the point.
Double albums are tricky beasts, and it’s difficult to think of many that wouldn’t have benefitted from a little editing. The Wave Pictures’ fifth album for Moshi Moshi is no different. It starts brilliantly with the ragged Nick Cave-ness of ‘All My Friends’ and moves on to ‘Before This Day’, which, along with ‘Red Cloud Road (Part Two)’, would fit in well on Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’.
Having carried the flame of melancholic, sardonic British indie wit for eight or thirteen full-lengths (depending on how you count it), one might assume The Wave Pictures’ fingers were starting to get singed. But that would have made an ass of us both, since album eight or thirteen (depending on how you count it) is not only yet another triumph of ramshackle magical realist indie rock, but it extends that joyful noise over two CDs! Or two downloads. How do double albums work nowadays?Written in a fever during a US tour alongside Allo Darlin’, ‘City Forgiveness’ unsurprisingly has a more Yankee flavour than the band’s previous albums.
Prolific London trio the Wave Pictures have spent over a decade under the Stateside radar for all but the most dedicated Anglophiles and guitar nerds. But a six-week U.S. tour last year with Allo Darlin’ not only raised the band’s profile, but inspired a manic songwriting streak on the part of leader David Tattersall that produced enough songs for a double album.
Nobody can deny The Wave Pictures‘ work ethic; this is their fifth studio album in as many years and their biggest yet, a double album which clocks in at over 90 minutes. City Forgiveness was born in America as the band spent six weeks driving across the country for shows last year, a time in which vocalist David Tattersall scribbled down“anything that popped into his head” and these two factors shape the album considerably. City Forgiveness isn’t an Americana record as such, but it draws a lot of inspiration from the open road and that disconnect from reality which travelling can bring… and it has some serious guitar riffs.