Glasgow’s The Ninth Wave were for the most part of their inception, another of the city’s best kept secrets – quietly becoming one of the biggest (and best) ones to watch while our backs were turned. That all changed when the four-piece won Best Newcomer at the 2016 Scottish Alternative Music Awards, supported Baby Strange and White at O2 ABC, and gave arguably the best live performance of this years Wide Days conference. Three pivotal moments where they made their voice heard and the cat was very much let out of the bag. It’s interesting watching a band’s trajectory in real time and as The Ninth Wave launch their debut EP “Reformation” it seems the only way is up.
Released via Distiller Records, the Gothic New Wave act lay the gauntlet down from the outset with opener ‘Heartfelt’. Industrial, metallic sonics introduce their signature shimmering, arpeggiated synths as the fantastic production of Dan Austin makes itself known. It’s a statement of intent and as the track is already well underway within the first ten seconds, they waste no time in making their point. As always the siren sounds of singer of Elina are the perfect counterpoint to Haydn’s baritone – the dual vocal element one of the many facets of The Ninth Wave that only adds to their unique dynamic.
The wash of My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars hit with sledgehammer force to an already immersive wall of sound as the band demonstrate their knack for taking note from Pixies in loud/quiet changes supplementing their dark narrative. The Goth Pop doesn’t stop for a second throughout their one-two punch as ‘Pale White’ and ‘Liars’ begin with the lines “we have a tendency to die, we know life is so contrite” and introduces, in my opinion the finest chorus of this, their first body of work. The second of which sees Elina take lead vocals swaying and lilting in a tour de force that somehow manages to sound delicate and like a hurricane at the same time propelled by rhythmic propulsive drumming.
If it isn’t abundantly clear The Ninth Wave are an otherworldly presence with some serious songwriting chops by the EP’s close – the synth-infused screaming finale of “Reformation” well and truly drives the point home. Already a familiar face as it precedes this release, it’s something of a victory lap and a confident, assured move to leave for last to let the newest tracks shine. The two singers duel over leather and lipstick-clad snakelike grooves – longing to change, and a lack of desire for conformity, the sonics are as tense and writhing as the subject matter. Despite its familiarity, “Reformation” is by no means, anything other than a fourth and final display of just why they may well be the most exciting Gothic New Wave band in Glasgow, the whole of Scotland and now with this release – beyond.
Give their debut EP a listen below!
Dominic @ New Wave Testament 2017