Wave Sleep Wave is one of the newest projects from Jerry Adler, a musician that has found plenty of ways to express different ideas. You may know him from groups such as The 527S, The Blam, or his solo act Flugente but don’t expect this new band to sound exactly like any of the others. On their debut self-titled album Wave Sleep Wave merges elements of indie rock, shoegaze and some post punk with a minimalist aesthetic. This melding of styles is sure to remind listeners of a number of different bands, but this album still manages to feel different and grab your attention.
One of the main reasons that this group maintains a minimalist feel is due to the fact that they are a guitar/drum duo. Adler uses his guitar riffs to fill the sound with hazy melodies that stretch across the entire song, at times almost coming to near silence before transitioning into another passage. In this way Wave Sleep Wave is able to create a lot of sound with sparse instrumentation, and listeners may be surprised to find just how textured each song is. The overall sound has the haziness of shoegaze and psychedelic rock mixed with some traditional indie rock ideas, but everything is kept fairly down-tempo to allow the melodies the chance to expand. Due to the looping nature of the instrumentals each of the nine songs flow into one another and towards the middle of the release it can be a little difficult to tell some of them apart, but taken as a whole the album is still enjoyable.
Jerry Adler is not only the guitarist of Wave Sleep Wave, but he also is the group’s singer. Adler has a voice that suits the mellow nature of the instrumentals, although his pitch doesn’t seem to change all that frequently. But despite the fact that the vocals have the tendency to drone along with the instrumentals, they never become repetitive and are often one of the most prominent elements thanks to the sparse production. Admittedly this type of singing is of the love it or hate it variety, so I would recommend checking a song or two out on the Curb Cut Records website first to see if it’s your style or not. I personally found myself entranced by his delivery style though, and this kept me returning to the album on a regular basis.
This group has attempted to move away from some of styles that their members have been playing for years and gone for a subtler mix of sounds that feels unique. Although the droning nature of the instrumentals makes Wave Sleep Wave an acquired taste, if you’re in the mood for a mellower release that does a lot with a little this album is worth investigating. There’s plenty of room for this project to expand and my hope is that it will be given the opportunity to do so in the coming years.