Waawe – All Fabulous Things Turn Out to Happen

Waawe
All Fabulous Things Turn Out to Happen

European rock, outside of the UK at least, has developed differently from North American rock. Perhaps it’s the distance, but the further away from the US and the UK, the more original European rock tends to get. Many times, bands in Central Europe sound a dozen or so years behind what US/UK bands are doing, but often that distance allows these bands to develop a unique sound that can teach the more widely accessible bands a few things. Such is the case with the Czech Republic’s excellent Waawe.
While the band’s last album, Timestorm Was the Signal, was a more prog-rock affair, on All Fabulous Things Turn Out to Happen, the band uses more studio effects to back up their guitar-driven post-hardcore sound. Less hardcore than the album’s predecessor, this release relies more heavily on effect-laden guitars, stellar rhythm, and the vocals. Sung in English, the singer’s accent is still a bit daunting to a typical American’s ears, but as the album progresses his voice assimilates nicely, and the accent is barely noticeable.
Shimmering keyboard background to the effect-laden guitar-driven “Background Man,” giving a kind of spacey yet still edgy feel. The sort of oddly tuned guitars give a unique melodic touch on “Common Sharing,” and the short 200-second instrumental “200 Seconds” demonstrates the band’s studio-friendly electronic abilities. It’s those electronic elements that nicely complement the band’s guitar-driven sound. For example, the sampled recording of “Oh God save his drowning spirit” forms the framework for the ultra-slick “The Prayer,” probably my favorite track here. The guitars on “Program: Survive” are filled with a kind of edgy distortion, but the real driving factor here is the stellar percussion, giving the song a Jawbox sort of feel. By “Now the Time Has Come to Reset Your Machine,” all of the band’s elements come together. A vibrant electronic element backs up a more urgent, intense feel, and even the singer’s voice helps add to the mood of the song. Melodic at times and urgent at others, it brings to mind bands like Hurl or Slint.
As if saving their most unique moments and their most original flare for last, the final four or so songs on the album show the band trying some different things. They take a more mellow approach with acoustic guitars backing up the emphasized vocals on “Tomorrow,” and they even add some horns and some cool studio effects to liven up “Turned Down.” “Voice” uses layered guitars and distant electronics flares for something of a shoegazer feel, and “Speed” closes the album with swirling guitars, moments of flute, and a more textured feel that creates a fantastic closer.
Waawe has definitely continued to develop their sound, and while Timestorm Was the Signal was an excellent album (and one that thrived on a more intense feel), All Fabulous Things Turn Out to Happen will likely be more accessible to a modern market in the US and the UK. Clearly one of the most focused and technically adept bands I’ve heard from that part of Europe, Waawe is also one of the most likely to find favor with indie audiences in North America and the UK. Here’s hoping they get the attention they deserve.