Release Date: Oct 30, 2012
Record label: Alive Naturalsound Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Noise Pop
Somerset has given the world some wonderful things; Glastonbury, cider, cheddar cheese and PJ Harvey, to name only a few. It has also given us Waves Of Fury who, on this their debut album, have made a strong pitch for being talked about in the same company as some of the West Country’s finest. Thirst arrives having been recorded at Polly Jean’s own studio, via the band taking a sojourn to the southern United States on tour.
Waves of Fury is a fascinating combination of Motown-style pop music and raw punk. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Carter Sharp’s voice is a mess of near-incomprehensible singing and a lot of shouting. Despite these limitations, he can carry a tune when he needs to, and he’s a canny enough songwriter to pass off a lot of the melody to the guitars and saxophone player Bim Williams.
It starts, as all proper rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and garage records should, with the riff from ‘Louie Louie’, a four chord figure once so ubiquitous that in their early press releases Nirvana would specifically state that they’d never, ever play it, just to be contrary (which is a bit rich when you consider their biggest hit. ) The DNA of modern rock, of punk and soul, of all teen music is spliced into those four chords and that beat to the point that they’ve become an instant shortcut to a knee-trembling, foot tapping dance floor thrill. Waves of Fury don’t actually play ‘Louie Louie’ at any point on this record, but that chord progression weaves in and out of their debut from opener ‘Death of a Vampire’ right through to climax-cum-highlight ‘Viodrene’: it’s in their bones, and so is R&B.
Back in the 1940s and ‘50s, rhythm & blues artists were often accused of playing The Devil's Music, taking the stylistic foundations of gospel and twisting them into a secular form that celebrated the pleasures of the fallen world. It's been a long time since that's been a popular viewpoint, but British band Waves of Fury seem intent on making R&B seem significantly more evil than it has in years on their debut album Thirst. Waves of Fury may be a rock & roll band, but the swagger of the melodies, the hard punch of the rhythms, and the peal of the horns make it clear these guys dig vintage soul and R&B.