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Record Review


As New York fashionistas have turned the boroughs into Salvation-Army chic's epicenter, so have New York bands become increasingly built on fashionably second-hand sounds. With the Strokes, the influence is New York's characteristics circa '67-'77, while Interpol counters with the U.K., circa '77-'84. In the case of Longwave, New York's latest first-big-overseas import/export, elements of both are filtered through an '88-'91 shoegazer sieve.

Like groups the Doves and Stratford 4, Longwave explores warm melodies drenched in refurbished reverb, hazy harmonies and sublime sweep. You can hear the Edge's crystalline clean tone circa Unforgettable Fire tangling with Swervedriver-like squall, along with disaffected vocals reminiscent of Psychedelic Furs/Julian Cope, often merely a register above Peter Murphy balladry.

Longwave and the Strokes, with whom they've toured, at times aren't dissimilar in tone, especially on the bouncy "Pool Song." Rarely, however, is Longwave as concise as the brash boogie of the Strokes, and here, with the help of Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) Longwave's glazed brooding is broadly applied. The feverish hallucinogenic miasma of "Wake Me When It's Over" breaks with a thrashing start in "Everywhere You Turn," as toms pound and bass pulses. "Tidal Wave" and "Day Sleeper" ebb and flow with nature film-like majesty, the airy arrangements unfurling in stately billows -- steadfast bass burrowing through guitars coursing with Catherine Wheel-like textures, humming from cascades of whispery drones. "All Sewn Up" quivers as it escalates, like prime Bends-era Radiohead crunch, its chords crashing against the resolute vocals.

Overall, Longwave rides a winning set of wavelengths.

Longwave plays the Echo Lounge Fri., May 30.

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