Slow Wave, the debut full-length from Edmonton-based the Velveteins, is a sunny soundtrack to mark the beginning of a hot and dry Prairie summer. Taking cues from '60s pop-rock and psych-garage, the trio have zeroed in on a grittier sound than on their previous two EPs.
Led by the wide-eyed lyrics and peppy vocals of frontman Spencer Morphy, Slow Wave explores simple themes of longing and day-dreaming. The album is a breezy, laid-back affair, with Morphy's surf-rock riffs and the pleasantly crisp pitter-patter from drummer Addison Hiller propelled by playful, groovy undertones from bassist Dean Kheroufi, especially on Slow Wave's dreamy centrepiece, "Don't Yah Feel Better?"
On "Strange Side of the Street" and highlight "Midnight Surf," the Velveteins introduce rugged guitars and spacey effects, putting a refreshing spin on their pop sensibilities. While not necessarily breaking any musical boundaries, Slow Wave sounds like a band in the process of finding their voice — and it's a good one.
Slow Wave meshes together very well, with a keen balance of indie-pop gloss and lo-fi looseness. The Velveteins are starting to gain attention outside of the Edmonton scene, and their first full-length is an admirable effort, a solid step forward in the band's early evolution. (Fierce Panda)