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Longwave
THE STRANGEST THINGS
(RCA)

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On their major-label debut, these NYC dream-pop kids recall classic U2 and Radiohead with their sweeping choruses and shimmering guitars. The first single, "Everywhere You Turn," is an upbeat reverie with melancholy hooks that will sound familiar to new-wave nostalgia nuts. But like Interpol and Hot Hot Heat, two other young bands who find their inspiration in í80s college rock, Longwave transcend mere imitation with a refreshing lack of guile and a broad experimental streak.

Working with Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev producer Dave Fridmann, frontman Steve Schiltz and guitarist Shannon Ferguson pepper their songs with elegant outbursts of six-string noise. On the albumís most memorable freak-out, "All Sewn Up," their guitars slowly unravel as the track approaches its bends-inducing climax. Schiltz prefers big melodies over big statements: "I am everything you wanted/I am everything you need," he sings on "Tidal Wave," a gorgeous pop anthem that trades in quiet catharsis. The band go somber and unplugged on "Meet Me at the Bottom," and "Strangest Things" is a compelling psychedelic detour. Labelmates the Strokes made it to the airwaves first, but Longwave may eventually prove to be NYCís finest contemporary guitar-pop export.

(Longwave perform next Saturday, June 7, at T.T. the Bearís Place, 10 Brookline Street in Central Square. Call 617-492-BEAR.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: May 30 - June 5, 2003
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