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Long Black Cars

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Album Review

With a seemingly endless knack for using bread-and-butter three-piece dynamics to create music bubbling with energy and character, charming stories, and poetic lyricism, the Wave Pictures are a band that nobody can say doesn't put the hours in. Their third album in as many years, Long Black Cars has all the ingredients anybody familiar with the band may expect. David Tattersall — who has also somehow found time to release solo material between the last record and the endless touring the band seems to embark on — sings with his trademark naïve, boyish exuberance, which makes the Leicestershire band so recognizable from the very first four bars of "Stay Here & Take Care of the Chickens" (a song title that comes as no surprise). However, there is a definite darker edge to the proceedings on this opener, a side to the band that is evident more so on this record than any of its previous output. This is shown particularly on "My Head Gets Screwed on Tighter Every Year," where Tattersall converses with a Western slide guitar, insisting with regret that "Rattling away like a hailstorm/You work your way under my skin/My heart bounced round like a basketball in a gym." Meanwhile, the now telepathic rhythm section of Franic Rozycki (bass) and Jonny Helm (drums) provides a safety blanket for Tattersall to explore his fretboard further still, splashing bluesy guitar solos that lace songs with an unpredictability many of 2012's guitar bands lack. The Wave Pictures have grown tighter and more proficient with each recording, while the production values here, along with subtle variations in style and tone, help to create some of their finest work. Adding further depth and invention to Long Black Cars, Jonny Helm sings a couple of numbers, including "Eskimo Kiss," one of the album's standouts, although to notice the change in singer is probably to be a seasoned fan. Elsewhere, "Spaghetti" is a jaunty pop song, encompassing many of the best aspects of the Wave Pictures. It's catchy, wistful, strange, and funny, with a bass solo thrown in for good measure, clocking in at less than four minutes like every other song with the exception of the title track. Closing the album with the type of bouncing rhythm the band has utilized successfully time and again, a picture is painted of a melodramatic black comedy in a small English village, counteracted with another belting solo from another place entirely, but one that sounds both comforting and more than enjoyable.

Customer Reviews

Nice Work

Some nice songs, you can hear the lyrics clearly and the little guitar solos have nice funk. I like.


Formed: 1998 in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, Englan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Inspired by the tongue-in-cheek confessionalism of the Smiths, solo Morrissey, and the scrappy D.I.Y. aesthetic of the C-86 school, the Wave Pictures began in 1998 in the tiny rural village of Wymeswold in northern Leicestershire, in Great Britain's East Midlands. Heavily influenced by their parents' classic rock record collections and John Peel's indie-centric radio show, lead singer and guitarist David Tattersall, bassist Franic Rozycki, and drummer Hugh J. Noble were first called Blind Summit,...
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Top Albums and Songs by The Wave Pictures

Long Black Cars, The Wave Pictures
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