Kill The Waves are a Glasgow based six piece who first appeared on many people’s radars this year with the release of the tracks Vow and Better Days on Soundcloud, both of which are storming tracks. Better Days is simply sublime and, if you do nothing else after reading this, listen to the track below, as it will simply make your life better. Hot on the heels of that free download, the band have released their debut album The One That Could Have Been and, pleasingly, the album is a real triumph.
The band combine a mix of electronics and stirring Radiohead or Arcade Fire like power to produce a collection of tracks that grow and develop with each listen. Opener Oak Tree sets the scene perfectly; a brooding tale of love backed with some superbly flickery electronic percussive sounds that ploughs the same furrow Radiohead’s Talk Show Host does. Mine follows, slapping you in the face with some quite magnificent electropop before the title track slows the pace and darkens the mood with distinct echoes of The Cure in places.
It’s followed by Vow which you should already know (see previous praise from me) which then leads into the driving Friend and Deadwave which has a lead synth line Vince Clarke would be proud of. That the song then turns into a gothic, rated vocal joy only adds to the enjoyment. Plastic Face is another slice of excellent synthpop before the once again Cure influenced Shadow enters, with its sound and feel redolent of that band’s Disintegration high point, specifically Homesick, which can never be a bad thing can it? Up next is the genuinely brilliant Better Days.
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It would have been easy to kick the album off with this track as it is a incredibly striking song but I’m glad that easy path wasn’t followed as it sits really well at this stage in the album and Oak Tree is an excellent opener. We round off with Sun Song and the initially playfully electro sound but all of a sudden guitar explosions of Part 2 which finishes the album off perfectly.
The One That Could Have Been is a superb debut album that is brim full of top tunes and Kill The Waves are clearly a band full of confidence in their sound and rightly so. A hugely enjoyable debut release.