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Harmony + Singles (Remastered)

The Wake

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Album Review

The Wake's first album will come as a surprise to those more familiar with their poppier later work. Harmony is standard early-'80s Factory Records post-punk gloom, not terribly different from any of a dozen other Joy Division wannabes. Steven Allen's metronomic drumming and Bobby Gillespie's Peter Hook-influenced bass are at the forefront of most of these tunes, supporting singer/guitarist Caesar's brooding, artless vocals. The only relief from the monotony comes on side two, with the relatively cheerful "Favour," which marries the Ian Curtis worship to a bright and Byrdsy guitar part, and the closing "An Immaculate Conception," which finally ratchets up the tempo a bit and features some memorable playing from keyboardist Carolyn Allen. Harmony is not actively bad, merely undistinguished and mostly forgettable; the Wake would improve markedly after this. [As the title suggests, Harmony + Singles collects the group's singles from that era, including "Chance," "Something Outside," "Host," "Drill," "Uniform," "Here Comes Everybody," "On Our Honeymoon," and "Give Up."]

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Glasgow, Scotland's the Wake was never terribly prolific, but with a recording career that spanned a dozen years, they were one of the longest-lasting bands on the British indie pop scene. Formed in 1981, the original lineup was singer/guitarist Gerard "Caesar" McInulty (who had briefly played in a pre-stardom Altered Images), keyboardist Carolyn Allen, drummer Steven Allen, and bassist Robert Gillespie. Yes, as in Bobby Gillespie, the irrepressible hipster who...
Full bio
Harmony + Singles (Remastered), The Wake
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