Calling a Spade a Spade
Ghost Wave, in the simplest possible terms, is a rock band. As such, they have all the standard qualities of a rock band. There are guitars blaring catchy riffs and crunchy chord progressions– sometimes power chords, but not always. There is a drummer backing the band with lively rhythms. There is a bass player and there is singing. Honestly, the review could probably end there. That is not to say that Ages is bad. It’s actually a pretty fun record from a lively young band out of New Zealand and it’s definitely worth a listen. It just happens to be very difficult to say anything beyond the completely obvious about such a straightforward rock and roll act without sounding like an ass. Ages isn’t a talking and thinking record.
Ghost Wave is pushing a sound that brings up memories of The Strokes and all those other bands that saw minor popularity in the early 2000’s. It’s the indie sound with a little more power pop flavor. If kids still liked rock and roll music, it would be all over the radio. They sound like they wear a lot of denim. Giving an in-depth description of songs like “Here She Comes” or “I Don’t Mind” would be about as pointless as discussing the artistic merit of the Ramones’ “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.”
It’s rock and roll music. There’s no deeper meaning to it. It’s moderately loud, generally upbeat, and the songs are mostly around three minutes long. “Bootlegs” has some really catchy guitar licks. There’s a lot of that fuzzy analog sound running through the album, and something about it seems very California. It would be unwise to say more. Fans of simple rock and roll music will have no problem enjoying Ages. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s not supposed to be and it doesn’t waste its time trying to be. Expect something like an all-male version of The Vaselines, or a less intense Iggy and the Stooges. It’s rock and roll and it’s good. Enjoy it.