I have to admit that when I saw the name 'Waking Aida', I pictured some kind of emo-pop act with fringes at impossible angles. These fears were, however, allayed within a few seconds of hitting 'play' on the Hachiko EP.
Straight away, I'm struck by the vibrant energy of the band. Where some instrumental contemporaries may sound bloated and directionless, the mood is heady and stirring. Though they use familiar dynamics to evolve the mood of songs, they have a bounce which keeps things buoyant. I imagine they are a blast to hear live. 'Meanwhile...at Lounge Doom' is accentuated with bright repeating guitar motifs and harmonic plinks that guide us into an ocean of squealing noise. 'That's not my trick, Michael' is a messier affair, all jarring time changes and cacophonous cymbal crashes. Lacking any kind of thread, it sounds like an aimless jam, instruments blindly humping each other. It's only a small blip, and sort of compelling, in a “What in god's name?” way.
'7.45' is back on the money, a swirling vocal sample is enveloped in feedback before a strident tempo kicks in, with the signature clean guitar line. The woozy romance swells to a thrashed, distorted conclusion. 'Nothing in me disturbs a thing' caps off this enraptured, upbeat fistful of tunes with a springy breakbeat and cascading guitars similar to Heat vs Light.
Waking Aida bring colour and warmth to a genre searching for fresh modes of expression. If you head on over to Waking Aida's Bandcamp page, you can also have a listen to three brand new tracks, which add sparkling afrobeat groove to their broadening palette.
Posted: Tue 26 July 2011