The Cherry Wave have been around since 2012 making blissed out, fuzz driven shoegaze with the emphasis on fuzz. In 2014 they signed to US label Saint Marie Records and released their debut LP Avalancher.
Since then they have shared stages with shoegaze legends such as Ringo Deathstarr, Pinkshinyultrablast, Swervedriver as well as a recent Glasgow show with Slow Crush which I was lucky enough to attend.
They return to us now with their new album Solasta recorded in Glasgow’s premier noise factory, Chem 19 studios. I was keen to hear how the amazing set they played for us in Glasgow would translate to record. Let’s dive in at the start.
The album opens with bombastic ‘Superdruid’ utilising the loud quiet loud dynamic to full effect. Immediately you can tell that the vocals are being allowed more prominence than in any previous Cherry Wave material. It really works well and this gets us off to a flying start. This was also the opener in their live set and remains a powerful statement of intent.
Next up is ‘Ache for the Glow’. This has a massive Husker Du or Sugar vibe and is wildly catchy. The lead guitar line on this track rails against the group vocals giving it that cool off kilter rumble. This has future single written all over it.
‘Cianalas Breeze’ switches between a really edgy verse and deliriously joyous chorus line. Again, the vocals sound fantastic on this one. It almost sounds like a late 80’s piece of avant garde Scottish pop in parts before reminding us that this is The Cherry Wave and this is now.
With a track name like ‘Rotter’ you’d half expect some dirty, scuzzy, evil sounding song. To begin with you aren’t disappointed but then out of nowhere this Cocteau Twins like song emerges and lifts you above the noise. Just a stunning track. This is my standout track on the LP and I know this is going to be a future fan favourite.
The first single to be lifted from Solasta is up next. ‘Reverse Hisako’ has this summery grungy feel and makes me feel incredibly nostalgic. “Passing by the summer snap. Feel the breeze upon your back”. Even the opening line makes you yearn for summers past. It’s a heady, hazy, swirly distillation for sure but my god, it’s a gem!
‘No Real’ kicks off with an almost math rock, American Football style intro and verse. Once we hit the chorus though we are firmly back in Scotland. Really like the way the two vocal lines work together on this one. But it’s over all too soon. I would have loved this song to be longer.
‘Ostara Dawn’ has that other worldly guitar sound that Mogwai also have. Quite fitting for a song named for a pagan god. Neatly picked chords lead us in to a well-structured expansive sound stage fit for dusk at Glastonbury. This is one of those tracks I can see being sung back at the band by huge crowds.
‘O.O.Z.E’ has that punky edge whilst maintaining that gazey wooziness. As we approach the end of the track, we are treated to some of the best guitars on the album yet.
We head into the final track, ‘Bloodshot Suns’, at full pelt. No letting up the pace. This is another track which screams instant single. A chorus which takes no prisoners leads into another instrumental break that opens portals to alternate dimensions. This is how you close an album. Leave ‘em screaming for more.
What The Cherry Wave have here is a huge step forward from anything they have previously released. Solasta is going to win them a whole slew of new fans. Glasgow’s shoegaze fuzz barons are back. Bliss!