On its third album, Longwave tries to keep the old sound from its second album, The Strangest Things, while also experimenting with new stuff. As an alternative band, Longwave strives to rock, and while it succeeds in some moments, there are also a few missteps.
The opening track “There’s A Fire” starts the album with a bang. While maintaining an alternative vibe, the song does hint at some new wave influence. Throughout the album, there is much variety in the track layout. You can go from the retro “River (Depot Song)” to the anthem-like “The Flood” without skipping a beat – although it does get repetitive. Switching back and forth between tempos doesn’t necessarily cause any loss of quality, but more of a loss in focus.
Longwave tries to spice up its sound with a little bit of pop, punk and rock. “Tell Me I’m Wrong” is the album’s only real pop song and juxtaposed to “Heart Attack” creates echoes of the song “Tidal Wave” from The Strangest Things. The confusion begins with “Fall On Every Whim” in that you begin to notice the odd placement of some songs. Does the band strive for alternative rock (“There’s A Fire”), pop rock (“Tell Me I’m Wrong”) or mellow rock (“Next Plateau”)?
“We’re Not Gonna Crack” is the band’s attempt at punk, but turns into a failed pop punk song in the realm of American Hi-Fi or Goldfinger rather than punk in the realm of The Libertines or The Sex Pistols. There are more floating influences from Pink Floyd [“River (Depot Song)”] and old 50s pop songs (“Next Plateau”). All in all, There’s A Fire is a good unfocused album. But hey, not every band can be Pink Floyd or U2.