I’d like to think that music writers don’t have to waste hours of their lives hunting down obscure music only for the sake of firing a few critical harpoons at the bands they find. Shouldn’t we be cherishing the local heroes, basement-tapers, and general unknown-unheard brilliance just waiting to be discovered? Well, at least that’s what I’d LIKE to think. Unfortunately there is this little thing called a deadline, and thus great music sometimes must remain un-tapped barring a last minute submission (hint hint!). So what unheard music is left? At best, bands like Skywave. Derivative with a capital D, yet offering strong performance and an authentic feel for the music.
Skywave would probably like me to describe their music as “pulverizing walls of guitars, colliding in a sonic maelstrom – a musical supernova.” Such a description is deceptive, in part because they are not as loud or overwhelming as they think they are, and because it would fail to account for their infrequent forays into “oldies”-style kitsch and surfer-instrumentals. “Seen It All,” is more typical of the direction Skywave appears to be going in. Ever-more dense layers of sound, new extremes of volume, all mixed with a pop sensibility based on traditional A A B A chord progressions. The result is akin to Hydrocraft covering the Jesus and Mary Chain’s early output. The vocals sound as if they were sampled right off Psychocandy; compared in a blind sound-test, they’re about as different as Pepsi and Pepsi. Even though it sounds like Skywave is trying to play someone else’s music, they do play with an intuition lacking in many other groups.
It seems that what started as a style developed by a handful of bands (e.g. My Bloody Valentine) has been co-opted so often that it has become a genre in itself. Operating within this context, Skywave are a maturing and accomplished band that have fun playing together and performing; and where they are short on originality, they are big on heart.