An independent band with a DIY heart, The Brewaves left their home state of Alabama to drift across the music plains of America, refining their sound and cutting their teeth on stages across the once great nation. With a relentless passion for songwriting and creating new music, The Brewaves have been slowly spreading their sound through word of mouth, steering clear of social media (except Instagram) and instead choosing to focus on a more Bohemian way of making themselves known.
Recording their debut EP in a basement studio back in Alabama, the band laid the foundations for their eponymous album in a series of rough cut, promising tracks. Recording only a small number of tracks, the band poured their time and money into the release, producing and recording on their own, working out the kinks and creating something special. From the EP grew an album, and a strong desire to create something where each song is uniquely its own. With a will to create and a want to experiment, The Brewaves did away with specific genres and confining labels, opting instead to focus on a raw and emotive sound that every listener could connect to.
Opening onto a stuttering wave of static, the album begins with ‘Burn Down This Barn’, a rallying cry of heavy guitar, damning percussion, and punk-inspired vocals. It’s an opening track that sets the diverse tone of the album, ringing with contemporary blues vibes and a uniquely rock energy. It’s rough, raw, and unpolished, making it a hard-hitting introduction to both the band and the records. Second track ‘Never Know Me’ changes the style dramatically, bringing to life more melodic tones and a more heartful sound that lingers on. It’s not the band’s strongest sound, but definitely one of the more poignant moments of the album.
‘Close Your Eyes’ maintains the album’s decline into melancholic, romanticised tracks, making the hard rock sounds of the album opener seem like a distant and sadly faded memory. Acoustic chords bring ‘All I Need’ into view, offering a glimpse at another side of The Brewaves’ sound, while ‘How Beautiful’ looks to steer the album firmly into emotive ballad territory, bringing with it impressive, heartfelt choruses and some lavish instrumentals into the fold.
‘Put the Poison In’ has a distinct grunge underpinning, contrasting 90’s nostalgia and heavy sounds with the lighter vocals. It’s wonderful to hear that powerful rock edge return to the mix, bringing form to the album again, but the vocals don’t fit as well as they did in the album’s opening anthem. Between ‘Answered Prayers’ and ‘Dancing in A Dream’, the album fades into another wash of acoustic sounds, emotive, romanticised vocals, and formless melodies, eventually falling away into a silence that only leaves questions.
As an album, ‘The Brewaves’ fulfils the band’s wish to create songs that all have their own unique character, but there lies one of the main issues with the record. Opening with passion and raw energy, the album kicks off all guns blazing, creating a wall of sound that never returns, and every song that follows just seems pale in comparison. It sets the balance of the record off, and even after a few listens you can never lend the lighter, more evocative songs the focus they deserve because you’re constantly waiting for that next anthemic track. It’s an anomaly, but also one of the record’s strongest tracks, making it impossible to figure out.
An album where the sum of its part doesn’t quite match the value of its individual songs, The Brewaves’ debut is an album of contrasts and learning curves. It’s a flawed, but important debut album, one that sets a powerful platform from which the band can grow.
You can stream ‘The Brewaves’ on Spotify above, or grab your very own copy as a digital download from iTunes.
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