Halfwait just released a tasty album entitled The Official. From Sydney, Australia, the band’s founding members, Jon Barca (guitar, vocals) and Chris Tallon (drums), have been playing together since the age of 15.
In 2012, a friend’s death led to a two-year hiatus, until 2014. Three years later, Halfwait dropped their EP, Forever, featuring “Late Nights,” which received heavy airplay on YouTube’s Montage Rock channel. Then the band’s bass player left. His replacement, Nick Seroukas, injected new energy into Halfwait.
Halfwait’s sound bonds grunge, punk, and alt rock elements into an appetizing concoction reminiscent of Offspring and Blink 182, with a dash of Nirvana tossed in for bite.
Flaunting 11 tracks, The Official is officially first-rate.
The highlights of the album include “Taking Over,” a potent alt rock number spiced with punk-lite aromas. Barca’s glistening voice exudes just the right coloring for punk-flavored rock. And the band’s vocal harmonies display brilliant hues and beau coup sonic energy. “Save Me” starts off with dark, compact guitar riffs and a thumping bass drum. Potent guitars kick in, adding Jovian resonance and pulsing dynamism. The music ebbs and swells, and then swells even more, giving the tune palpable oomph.
“Who Are You” reminds me of Offspring, as it exudes oodles of dirty, thrumming guitars, and a soft/loud structure of infectious currents. Only Halfwait’s sound is cleaner and less disheveled than Offspring’s, reducing the grittiness associated with the latter group.
“Stand Alone” is another excellent song that offers scintillating vocals and wall of sound dynamics akin to tsunami levels. This song discharges beau coup harmonic momentum and, at the same time, an unexpected sonic grace. “Make It on Your Own” is the punkiest track on the album, full of growling, fuzzed-out guitars embellishing Barca’s nasal vocal tones. There’s a hi-rezzed Fall Out Boy sensibility to this tune’s textures, especially the vocals.
The Official presents yummy punk rock. Strapping, well-structured harmonics and Barca’s made-to-order voice make The Official must-listen-to music, particularly if you’re into Blink 182 and Offspring.
Listen to The Official on Spotify.