The Greenwaves are a local Chicago, indie garage-rock band that started up as a three piece 5 years ago in Cicero, Illinois. They have since added a fourth member to complete the line-up, which features lead singer and bassist Adrian, Christian and Alex on guitars, and drummer Manuel. Their 6-track EP “Low Hazard” mixes crunchy sonic templates, expansive rhythms, and dense songwriting built on thickets of jangling guitar, slamming drums and melodic aplomb. The crux of its power comes from the tension between their garage-rock instincts and their forward-thinking intentions. The EP is vibrant and immediate, with bright edges and big hooks. It’s a sonic collage of gritty, soaring vocal excursions, and pure rock groove.
In fact, the groove is instantly infectious and explosive on the momentum-pushing opener, “Bruised”. It captures The Greenwaves’ dichotomy at its most urgent and mellifluous, plucking out funky guitar strums which dance with abandon on top a bed of rummaging drums. “Ode to Youth” ominously lurches forward charging all at once in a manner true to the band’s energy load. The vocals are relentlessly raw and boisterously bombastic. Every note making its presence known.
How the music sounds is almost less important than what it feels like. When The Greenwaves launch into the racy rhythms of “Confessions” and then the urgent bass driven “Nothing New” the band’s musicality beams down into their instruments, and their grip on your attention seems to get a little tighter.
These songs have a density, a tactile intricacy that seemingly could not have resulted from anything other than meticulous artistry. Bolstered by straightforward easily relatable lyrics, with subtle shifts and changes in how the instruments intertwine, allow the tracks to flow seamlessly.
“Heart of Blue” is an explosion of sound, blending a tuneful melody, an abrasive vocal tone and a thumping rhythm. It has a bold and triumphant beginning, and allows the music and vocals to shine throughout. This acts a solid reminder that when indie bands like The Greenwaves, are left to their own devices, they are a force to be reckoned with.
“Sweet Mama” careens, freewheeling, down well-greased tracks of tremolo guitar and a shuffling rhythm led by a soaring melodic lead vocal. The tension between rhythmic structure and vocal strut totally animates the song.
Overall, every song on the EP “Low Hazard” adds a necessary flavor to the mix, and to remove any element would diminish the overall effect. Moreover, the album proves that there is still plenty to be mined from the supposedly fossilized guitar-rock template.
While the reports of rock music’s critical and commercial demise have only gotten stronger, The Greenwaves are able to apply their effortless chemistry to thundering drums, swaggering guitars, revving basslines, and fever-pitch vocals, as they enter the dimension of raw rock power.
“Low Hazard” is an ass-kicking record drop from The Greenwaves, and is exactly what rockers could have hoped for. It’s definitely a record to not sleep on, from start to finish. Few other bands out there right now, offer such compelling proof of their no-nonsense rock n’ roll viability.