Review Summary: Jake Brown releases his most accomplished works to date.
Considering his association with post-hardcore acts like Decahedron, Moments in Grace, and Frodus, Jake Brown's current project, The Eastern Wave (formerly En Masse) is surprisingly low-key. It's a characteristic that permeates The Eastern Wave's endeavours, musical or otherwise; not only does the group forgo the frenzied aggression of Brown's previous bands in favour of a denser sound, but live performances have been an unfortunate rarity, and the band has been restructured a handful of times. In spite of The Eastern Wave's apparent idleness, Brown has been hard at work over the past two years producing the band's debut album All Covet, All Lose
. And considering how good the record actually is, it's been well worth the wait.
While lacking the frantic, yet intricate post-hardcore elements of Brown's previous works, The Eastern Wave still very much sports the same emotionally charged vigour. The album's interesting blend of alternative rock and shoegaze makes for a dark, rather versatile sound. Setting the tone for the album's sound, "Antidote" opens the album on a quiet, ominous note, but All Covet, All Lose
transitions through a variety of different moods; even "Antidote" develops into a livelier piece, cranking up the guitar presence as the track progresses. "Condition: Negative" takes All Covet, All Lose
in the opposite direction, incorporating more aggressive punk elements. City of Ships frontman Eric Jernigan cameos on the song, contributing his rough shouts to the song's edgier structure. The energetic direction taken in "Condition: Negative" is only hinted at sparingly for the rest of All Covet, All Lose
, but on an album soaked in reverb, the aggressive rock is quite effective. Most intriguing of all, however, is closing track "Mind Like a Museum". Warm ambience and programmed beats dominate the song, introducing a far more relaxed motif than the tense "Had My Shot" or "The Stranger".
Considering Brown's impressive musical resume prior to The Eastern Wave, to call All Covet, All Lose
his most accomplished work to date would be no mean feat. But then again, none of his past works sound quite as meticulous, quite as unique, or simply quite as powerful as All Covet, All Lose
. Offering a refreshing take on alt rock inspired shoegaze, The Eastern Wave have themselves one of the most interesting debut albums of the year. As an added bonus, the entire album is completely free; how can you go wrong?