Album Review // waveform* // Antarctica
Freshly signed by Run For Cover Records who re-released 2020's excellent Last Room, waveform* have returned with yet another batch of lovely emo-adjacent indie-rock experiments. And much like that record's relationship with its predecessor, Antarctica continues to tone down the band's weirdness — or at least make it more palatable for newcomers. In fact, many of the songs recall the organic beauty of Last Room's "Hello Goodbye." Take opening track "Lonely," which also happens to be the album's best; hypnotic, simple guitars pull you in as the band delivers an even sweeter and simpler hook: "Lonely, lonely, lonely lonely/Lonely when you go/Only, only, only, only/Happy when your home." And "hypnotic" is the key word here; the band has worked hard to emerge from constant Alex G comparisons, and while Antarctica does little to change waveform*'s formula ("Firework" in particular seems to recall Giannascoli's "Gretel"), it's songs like "In My Drink" that show off the band's inclinations. Plodding and winding guitars call back to some of Modest Mouse's best — and gentlest — work. Antarctica is likely waveform*'s most accessible collection yet, and while some fans might be starting to yearn for something fresh, it's a perfect introduction to a talented band on the rise.