There’s life in Rock ‘n’ Roll yet
Many, many people would argue about rock and roll being dead. It’s a pretty well-established viewpoint. As with punk, guitar music, music in general, the arts, and basically anything without a fixed price attached, rock and roll is dead in the 21st century. Obviously.
Of course, this isn’t true. Luckily, such exaggerated rumours about rock’s demise fuel some amazing new music that is crafted into a similar, but energised, genre. Cue Exowaves, a band that fuse together the rumbling swagger of rock and roll with the noisy angst of punk and the seductive rhythms of a band that is so 21st century they almost stand entirely at contradiction with themselves.
This, of course, is a fantastically good thing. Their latest AA single, ‘Closest Romantic’/’Side Effects’, is a beautiful alt-rock soundscape to show exactly why. ‘Closet Romantic’ is a slow-burner with the hint of an indie twang, veiled in the mix of a track that is very stadium-ready. The track sets itself out perfectly for the ideal lighter in air (or, lighter app on phone in air, because that’s 21st century) moment and, even better, builds on this to become more and more ideal. It’s a track that opens onto solid ground before moving onto something even firmer.
On the contrast to this gentle burning sound, ‘Side Effects’ is the swagger of rock and roll done in a non-cheesy way. The problem with a lot of modern rock, especially when the word “swagger” is used, is that it becomes unbearably cringey. Exowaves stay on the right side of this line, knowing the limits of modern taste and delivering a solid sound carried on a seductive late-night rhythm that works amazingly. It even incorporates some distorted vocals towards its climax, offering a punky edge with an oddly Kurt Cobain vocal.
Exowaves are a glorious ontradiction in sound that contradicts everything commonly spread about rock, punk and guitar music. How strange that these “dead” genres here sound more alive than they have in at least twenty years.