One of last years most undeservedly glossed over releases had to be the eponymous debut from The Surfing Magazines. It was a step back into indie’s heyday, throwing a touch of surf’s veneer into a stretched and snapped web of toughened hooks that proved guitar rock still had some legs in 2018. The backbone of The Surfing Mags was the trio normally filed under The Wave Pictures, they just pop in ringer Charles Watson from The Slow Club to make the transition. Now back to their old tricks, The Wave Pictures have two new albums on the way for 2018 and first up is Brushes With Happiness, an off-the-cuff recording that the band did in one day. The second offering promises a bigger pop picture but “Jim,” the first cut from Brushes speaks to the marked difference between the two albums. This is a pure product of the band’s blues séance held one January night.
The track is sparse, but still glowing with the guitar tones of Dave Tattersall, who seems to have a strange wrangle on the lizard writhe of rock. The track slinks in and huffs the firelight out of the room, feeling full of detached cool, – the kind of track that would underpin a killer’s saunter into a nest of unfortunate victims in a film with any taste. It’s all preamble here, though, and part of me wants it to explode at the end into a shambolic arc of metallic shred but somehow that’s not what I feel is at foot on this record. I’ll be eager to see if it’s all held breath and hushed menace like “Jim.”
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