Donovan Wolfington
Waves


4.0
excellent


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Genre-bending, styles-mixing, mood-shaking, tune-crashing and all things in between.

In the grander scheme of indie punk rock, Donovan Wolfington are hardly innovators. They are utilisers of all of the already explored tricks and tropes to their advantage. For that reason one single song can turn from style to style seamlessly and splash a bucket of influences all over your ears with no sweat whatsoever. That is apparent straight off the bat with album’s opener, “Wave”, where you’ll encounter typical harsher old-school song-writing and vocal performance, but with one slightly more off-the-hook riff it all goes berserk and turns into shouty pop-punk with occasional blasting drums like from a hardcore song. Still, the song is undeniably indie punk, but with slightly harder hitting instrumentation and more mind-twisting riffs. Four minutes swing by in a blink of an eye.

Much to a similar multi-genre effect comes “Ways”, which is more reminiscent of melodic post-hardcore. And the band isn’t willing to stop just there. The entirety of Waves is a melting hodgepodge of influences, styles and instrumental techniques, which –as surprising as it is – never affect the album’s great flow or its overall look. Never does a moment come, where it all seems too much and/or directionless. The band managed to find that perfect margin, where all of the combined ideas seem just, just enough.

“Perfect” has about as perfect an explosion at the end, as it gets, complete with killer riff and throat-stabbing vocals. Perhaps, if anything, “Chipped Lips” could be pointed out as the album’s real overstep. Not that its multitude of directions doesn’t work, it’s just that they don’t bring together any worthy melodic component. Fortunately, “Church of Gravity” does about just that. Moreover, it features one of the best bass-and-drums interplay on the entire album, where for a moment you feel like you’re almost in a sludge metal album. And of course, much to the same astonishing effect. “Low” is a striking riff-cracking affair and “Empty Space” is a slowly building niceness with its own lavish finish.

But nothing is without its downsides. For Waves it turned out to be an ill-advised decision to put in an electronic-based interlude track “Kanye” that just sticks there like a synthetic minute-long sore thumb for no reason. It really is mind-boggling as to why would it be there, but what is done is done and an obscurity remains as it was seated. Thankfully, the mild and tunefully pleasant closing “Terrible Judgement” wraps everything up nicely and with grace and the already well-established norm, the vicious blasting song endings.

No more is this the muddiness of their debut or the whiny angst of their sophomore release. On Waves, Donovan Wolfington manage to ascend above the youthful naivety of their past work with bold new instrumental outbursts, blood-pumping energy and memorable song-writing, while still staying true to themselves with the general genre theme of a blasting heavy indie (with as much emo and pop-punk stacked into it, as possible).



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user ratings (23)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
March 2nd 2018


22503 Comments


remember these guys still?

tom79
March 2nd 2018


3936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The last one was cool. Gonna check this out.

MarsKid
Emeritus
March 3rd 2018


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will give this a check shortly. Your review sold me pretty solidly on it, sounds like a hit.



Stream for the unaware: https://donovanwolfingtonmusic.bandcamp.com/

Papa Universe
March 3rd 2018


22503 Comments


It's definitely their best.
And thank you, Mars.

Conmaniac
March 3rd 2018


27693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

these guys kinda slay, will check

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2018


32043 Comments


I only heard the first two tracks but it's crazy how they go from one style to the other. Donovan WolfingPOS!

Conmaniac
June 4th 2018


27693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

need to re-jam this but I remember digging sum of this

Papa Universe
June 4th 2018


22503 Comments


please do commence a rejamming session

Conmaniac
June 6th 2018


27693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this was good, solid 3.5 still

Papa Universe
June 6th 2018


22503 Comments


but that average needs to go higher

Conmaniac
June 6th 2018


27693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd say it's about right..

Pajolero
November 24th 2021


1428 Comments


These guys were one of my favorite new bands around 2013/14, but since then I've kinda forgotten they existed. Happy to see that they're still around and putting out music!

UPD: Ok, I just did some digging and apparently they broke up immediately after releasing this record. Shit.



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