Wave Sleep Wave
Curb Cut Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/14/2012
The musical vision of New York stalwart Jerry Adler (of the indie rock greats The Blam or his solo folk project Flugente), Wave Sleep Wave actually began with some experimenting with loops at an art project at MIT. Though the inception of Wave Sleep Wave was essentially just seeing what might be able to be pieced together, after a session with drummer Yuval Lion (also of The Blam) to flesh out some ideas, Adler went home and penned the entire record.
Undoubtedly Adler’s most melodic endeavor yet, the seemingly endless guitar textures and multi-layering combined with the robust drumming make for an unconventional and immediately memorable sound. The wordplay is highly sophisticated; Adler is forever known for his intriguing storytelling, and though this certainly has the accomplished and precise instrumentation of his prior work, it hardly sounds like much of his earlier projects. While there’s a definite minimalist feel to it, here the pair meshes indie rock sensibilities with hazy shoegaze and some lo-fi post punk tones that bring to mind Frank Black if he flirted with New Wave and psych rock.
The Wave Sleep Wave story becomes even more interesting when you take into account that after just one rehearsal the duo played a sold out show in NYC’s lower east side, then recorded this record just 11 days later. A well established producer, multi-instrumentalist and record label owner, Adler has enough accolades to render him to near legend like status among underground rock, and he seems quite comfortable flying below the radar of mainstream appeal, as this self-titled debut evokes indie rock greatness from beginning to end.
Nine tracks that do just fine on their own but tell a story as a whole, though you’ll hear bits and pieces of the greats in here (Wire definitely comes to mind), ultimately this is a unique vision of expansive melodies and sparse yet carefully calculated instrumentation that only Jerry Adler could create.