steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"The Strangest Things" CD

RCA Records

Genres: The Strokes

band website

Apr 14 - 29 2003

Everyone likes the Strokes, right?

Well, no, not really.  But regardless, there is a large audience for their simplified garage-y pop, and so it was only a matter of time before the imitators came in.  Well, here's Longwave - but wait, they were in around before The Strokes even released their debut album!  Regardless, the band seem to have picked up a lot of the Strokes sound after they toured with the much-hyped New Yorkers themselves in 2002.

With a vocalist whose voice is so close to that of Julian Casablancas' it hurts, a similar chime in the guitar (except with a bit more of a shoegazer sound), and the type of melodies that Is This It was drenched in, Longwave's The Strangest Thigns will hopefully satiate the public until the upcoming Strokes record is finally released.

"Wake Me When It's Over," the album's opener, is a passionate, beautiful piece of music.  Longwave start everything by showing that, yes, they actually make it sound like they care about the music they're playing - something The Strokes have been notorious for leaving out of their live shows.  "The Ghosts Around You", meanwhile, take the band's Stroked-out vocals and combine them with a catchy, slowed-down guitar-chord-and-drum backing.  "Everywhere You Turn" shows the uglier side of Longwave - they seem to go for the Strokes' sound but suffer from a severe case of "okay"-dom.

On the plus side, Strokes fans will lap this shit up.  There are lots of nice melodies, and even some fun parts where the band stray from their Stroke dedication altogether (the youthful "Tidal Wave" is a prime example).  All of the album's tracks are very catchy and lots of fun to sing along to.  However, this isn't a particularly original record, and those who hate The Strokes are likely to also hate what Longwave has come up with.  The only way for Longwave to improve this for the next full-length would be to change their formula and ditch the Strokes similarities altogether.  However, the band members will have to decide whether they'll still have their RCA contract if they try out a fresher style (after all, RCA is part of BMG, and what do we all know about major labels ...)

Strokes fans, and I know there are a whole bunch of you out there - check out Longwave, you'll likely find a lot to like in The Strangest Things.  At least it will help you count the days (and delays) until the Strokes finally get their new record out into a Walmart near you.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 songs, distributed by Insound, released 2003]