Alt-J (∆) – An Awesome Wave

January 01, 1970



The debut album
that is quickly building a fan base for this UK quartet, An Awesome Wave is a quirky, genre blending album that pulls the
majority of its inspiration from world music. The merging of Gus Unger-Hamilton’s
keyboards, Gwil Sainsbury’s driving bass, Thom Green’s sporadic drums and Joe
Newman’s vexing vocals proves at times well orchestrated and at times
ostentatious in their attempt to
create an atypical record.


Once An Awesome Wave makes its way to the
track, though, it maintains a steady jog and never quite sprints into action.
Songs like “Estocada” on the US release, otherwise known as “Something Good,”
“Tessellate,” “Taro,” and “Breezeblocks” all magically balance the disjointed,
hypnotic beats the band creates with Newman’s flat vocals. Yet, outside these
notable numbers, the equation grows wearisome and old, leaving some desiring certain
parts of a song; wishing the band didn’t include the an a cappella intro on
“Fitzpleasure” or quickened the pace of “Ms” as the slow tempo and
inflectionless vocals grew predictable.


Nevertheless a
creative effort from this new band, Alt-J shows promise and proves they can
create hauntingly catchy melodies from irregular rhythms.


DOWNLOAD: “Tessellate,” “Estocada (Something Good)”

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