Katrina and The Waves 2 – 1984 is the last of four albums being reissued by guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Kimberley Rew in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the group’s biggest hit “Walking On Sunshine.”
Rew’s 1981 solo album, The Bible Of Bop, was brilliant in places but had an overall disjointed feel as he recorded with three different bands. The group’s first release, Shock Horror, found him sharing lead vocals with Katrina Leskanich. The sound was closer to his days with The Soft Boys and was a commercial failure. The bands 1983 album would find the group settling into their commercially successful pop/rock sound. Rew was now writing material specifically for Leskanich who had assumed lead vocal chores. This album saw the debut of “Walking On Sunshine” which would become a big hit in The United States and The U.K.
While their 1983 release was excellent in places and contained one of the catchiest hit singles of the 1980’s, Katrina and The Waves 2 is an overall better album. It may not contain one brilliant track but there are no lows and it is a consistently excellent album. The sound has a harder edge in places than their other releases. Rew’s signature guitar licks, Katrina’s powerful vocals, and a pounding percussion add up to a sound that was memorable and deserved more commercial success.
There are a number of superior tracks. “Do You Want Crying” and “Maniac House” are catchy hard rock. “Mexico” is the band at its smooth best. “The Game Of Love,” not to be confused with the old Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders hit song, contains an older rock ‘n’ roll sound and clever lyrics.
There are five bonus tracks. The most interesting are covers of “Wild Thing” and “River Deep, Mountain High.” They are both straight forward rock and serve as a vehicle for Leskanich’s powerful vocals.
Katrina and The Waves 2 – 1984 finds Katrina and The Waves at their best. While the group would make a comeback during the nineties, this release remains their most listenable.