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Without Waves - Lunar album review

Genre-straddling Chicago crew fail to calibrate their compasses

Cover art for Without Waves - Lunar album

It’s not easy to combine a variety of styles and genres into one melting pot and come out sounding like a band rather than just an aimless scattergun of ideas. Without Waves claim their raison d’être is ‘evolution through experimentation’, and listening to Lunar, with its blast of noise rock, nu metal, jazz time signatures, post-punk and tech-death, you might wonder if they’re more interested in standing out from the crowd than making memorable songs. After a confusingly incoherent opening, it’s not until Us Against locks into a woozy guitar part and a brain-hugging alt-rock chorus that they start sticking to something they excel at. From here on, Lunar is fairly frustrating, with the glorious slashing bounce of E.D.M.S. sitting alongside the plodding Fractals. Without Waves should realise that any future releases could do with either being streamlined or they’re going to have to make every flight of fancy count.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.