When I saw the name 'Mojo Waves', I feared the worst; an arid provincial studio churning out some earnest Brit blues piss or misguided session funk. That's not what we get here. I'm still not 100% sure what we get, but that can only be a good thing.
Musically, opening tune 'Whitebird' is ostensibly familiar, punchy yet straight-laced 70s rock. The main riff is like Pantera's 'Becoming' doused in patchouli. All the intrigue comes from that voice. Draw your own conclusions; it made me think of avant-weird rock such as Focus and Sparks, with John Lydon's sardonic raised inflections and Melt Banana's piercing yelp. 'Yeasayer' too, manages to cook up something palatable from potentially distasteful ingredients in troglodyte bluesy stodge and a 'whoah-oh' funk rock chorus. Fortunately, they bring a strange new dimension to shape-throwing Page-ry, similar to when Acid Mothers Temple go all primitive on our asses.
The most diverting showcase of the band's dynamic comes in final track 'Questions'. It switches effortlessly between frenetic fretboard battery, post-punk angularity, and proggy exploration, all in under five minutes. It is this that transforms 'Enjoy, Don't Destroy' from a curiosity to the rising dawn of a fascinating prospect.
Debut EP 'Introducing' was more recognisably 'stoner' in feel, so this is a brave and laudable tangent away from a saturated field. Those unique vocals tend to be in play only when the band are in full-on rock mode, so I'm looking forward to hearing them reflect a greater range of moods in future (the band only formed in 2011, so I'm pretty positive things will only get more weird and wonderful). This is a group it will be difficult to be blasé about; their output won't be to everyone's taste. Whether in pleasure or pain, Mojo Waves should give you a powerful jolt.
Posted: Sat 13 October 2012