This is a review of "We Are The Waves" recorded by Emergencies. The review was written by Jessica Thornsby in 2009.
'We Are The Waves,' the debut single from Leeds' Emergencies boasts a skittering, off-kilter central riff that bands with far more experience would be proud of. This scratchy, nervy chord is guaranteed to get stuck in your head, as is this song's headrush, indie-pop chorus of hook-packed gang vocals and funky, danceable riffs. Vocalist Declan Hogan's vocal instincts are superb, as he pitches every line to maximise this song's bone-popping rhythms. 'We Are The Waves' is a very neat, catchy indie-pop track.
B-side 'Scales' is simultaneously heavier and funkier than the A-side offering. The faster underlying beat and brisk gang cries of "whoooo-oh-oh" make this a blast of driving indie-pop, embellished with easy and enjoyable vocal hooks.
But, 'Scales' also has another side, with an undercurrent of steadier, darker riffs running throughout the bridge section. This heavier, harder-rocking swagger sheds a new, interestingly menacing light on those "whooooo-oh-oh" backing vocals, and brings some much-needed weight to Emergencies' airy indie.
However, their flirtations with a heavier sound aren't always a success. With 'Scales,' Emergencies are clearly going for a pounding, hard rock finale, but the hammering drumbeats and jerking chords just end up sounding disjointed. A less-than-accomplished ending to an otherwise solid song.
'About You' is an impressive piece of foot-stamping indie-rock, packed full of bouncing drumbeats and grinding riffs. 'About You' frequently breaks into a gallop, ending with a flourish of fluttering chords, and cramming in the call and response vocals, to ensure 'About You' is bursting with youthful enthusiasm.
'About You' seems about to break its stride, with a bridge section of plodding guitars and droned backing vocals, but Emergencies then crack out the sawing, stop-start guitars and twitchy call and response vocals, and carry 'About You' to a fittingly action-packed finale.
Emergencies' 'We Are The Waves' release is a promising statement of intent. Three tracks of danceable indie pop with inventive main and backing vocal interaction, and some sharply funky rhythms, most notably the stylish judder of the title track. It might just be worth keeping an eye out for this band on the live circuit.