Wavelets – Athaletics
I might as well come out and say it: My name is Jay, and I love emo. Not whatever people called emo back in 2003. Not Hawthorne Heights and Senses Fail, or even Saosin. I’m a fan of American Football, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Cap’n Jazz. To me, emo’s not a dirty word, and it isn’t a dirty word to Gainesville’s Wavelets, either.
Wavelets are one of the best examples in the current emo revival scene, which encompasses a lot of bands who probably got really mad when Alternative Press magazine started calling any whiny band, “Emo.” Their new full-length, Athaletics, is fun mix of Latterman-influenced punk and turn-of-the-century emo.
Opening track, “Julio Won’t Get Out Of The Car,” is a great opener that sets the record up quite well. It opens in a pretty manner and then goes full-force into the rest of the track. It’s got a very potent energy and sounds like but isn’t too far from the rest of the album. There’s not much of a break in the action of this album. The closing lines of each song ring home with such resonation. “Julio,” ends with, “I made it a point to make it a point to stop writing songs or stop writing songs about you.”
With that precluding the possibility of this being an album full of scorned love songs, it’s probably for the best. It gives the band a depth that a decent amount of the emo revival scene lacks. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the references to Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon in, “Cam Taylor Is So American Kushball Right Now,” though. While the songs that do seem to be love songs are great, it’s tracks like, “Luke Moses Loves Stale Food,” and album closer, “Cannonball,” that really make for a lyrical slam-dunk.
Instrumentally, this album is outstanding. If the band released the album without vocals, it’d still be exceedingly solid and interesting to listen to. The closing part to, “Cam Taylor,” is excellent and among some of my favorite music this year, and it doesn’t have vocals in it.
The vocals are really what brings it all together, though. It’s not a loose, sloppy album in the first place, but the emotion in the music is doubled with the vocals and it’s what really makes this album stand above a lot of others. The sections with gang vocals sprinkled in throughout this album do nothing but multiply the intensity, but also add a good-hearted element to the mix.
There’s not much I don’t like about this album. My real complaint is that I wish it were a longer album. Thirty minutes, while standard for a lot of punk albums, is almost too much of a tease when it comes to this. It’s an incentive to listen again, but it’s also a bit of a pain to wait for even more music from Wavelets when there’s something this good only just came out.
By: Jay Papandreas
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