steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

review
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info opinion

Skywave

"Synthstatic" CD

Alison / Blisscent

Genres: shoegazer, dream rock, space rock

Blisscent Records
11 S. Angell St. #486
Providence, RI 02906

May 3 - 9 2004

No matter how you look at it, Synthstatic is a fine album.  Skywave's sound, a sort of fiery, energy-boosted mutation of shoegazer, will be perfect for those who like crossing their feedback-drenched pop with explosive rhythms and rock-charged guitars.  Over this disc's fourteen track duration, the listener is treated to a wide panoply of melodies and atmospheres - be it a perfect, uplifting chorus or an almost devious slice of toe-tapping rock.

While this type of music is certainly nothing new, Skywave do it with such precision and inspiration that you can't help but be impressed.  Take "Here She Comes," for example.  It's a noisy, fuzzy tune that juxtaposes dreamy vocals over a revving, energetic guitar/bass/drum/synth background.  It has a strong Jesus and Mary Chain quality to it - and its production values and melodic sensibility have a strong underground eighties feel to them.  "Nothing Left To Say," meanwhile, represents the other side of Skywave - it's much more relaxed and calming, filled with walls of guitar feedback and a wonderful chorus that wouldn't sound out of place on a My Bloody Valentine album.

There are many other highlights on this disc, and few moments of mediocrity.  Occasionally Skywave falls into the trap of basing a song on an uninteresting melody or bland atmosphere - especially in the later parts of the disc, with tracks such as "Adore" and "I Believe,"  However, true dream rock fans will undoubtedly be pleased to find Synthstatic to be one of the genre's best modern achievements.

89%

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]