Album of the week —Much Love

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 11:12 PM
Album of the week —Much Love by Kimberly Firestine

As far as pop-punk and alternative rock go, Atlantabased Microwave might have this whole thing figured out.

Their latest release, “Much Love,” was announced Aug. 30 in conjunction with a music video for their lead single, “Vomit.” The album was released on SideOneDummy Records on Sept. 30.

“Much Love,” the band’s follow-up to their 2014 release, “Stovall,” shows us a stronger, more diverse side of the band. Classifying “Much Love” as a “good” album would be an understatement and possibly an insult.

The lead-off track, “Roaches,” is a very Basementesque cut that gives “Much Love” a slow, peaceful start. Laden with special effects, the track is an interesting way to start off the album. Give it time, and it will grow on you.

“Lighterless” is a great second track. The riff-led introduction of the song, paired with frontman Nathan Hardy’s seemingly infallible vocals — though questionable lyrics; see “soggy hot dog buns” — are just the beginning of a display of what Microwave can do. This is the upbeat track that really gets the album going in the right direction. The solid bass lines and guitar solo are what make this song work and gives it a nudge over a few of the others on the album.

The third track, “Dull,” is a contender for best on the album. And there’s not really a single thing you can point to without feeling like discrediting other parts. The vocal and acoustic guitar intro, the lyricism, the tight bass tracking — it’s all there, and it’s all good. Perhaps one of the more relatable tracks on the album, Hardy sings “It makes me sick inside to be calling you up this late at night/but that’s what I do/ cause there’s only one thing on my mind/ when I hit you up this late at night/if falling in love is the best high/I’ve passed the best times of my life/now the silence is cold/and every time we talk it’s dull and awkward.”

The sixth track, “Whimper,” has a lot happening all at once, but Microwave proves they can handle it and turn it into something interesting, instead of something muddy and indistinguishable. Not a lot of bands can do that the right way, but Microwave has it on lock this time around. What might actually be my personal favorite track

What might actually be my personal favorite track on the album, “Drown,” is unashamedly honest. “I miss those petty lies/and the hopelessness you try so hard to disguise,” sings Hardy. “I miss the way you always b****/It’s weird/but, things just haven’t been the same way around here.”

When it comes down to it, Microwave is one of the better bands kicking around today. Track after track, “Much Love” proves that Microwave has no time or place for a sophomore slump.

The mix of sound that you get from the track arrangement, the lyricism and the tight production might be what makes this better than their first full-length. If you’re not listening to Microwave, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

You can currently catch Microwave on tour with All Get Out and Gates beginning Oct. 27, and then with Tiny Moving Parts and A Will Away in December.

“Much Love” is available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and in stores now.

Microwave is Hardy (vocals, guitar), Wesley Swanson (guitar, vocals), Tyler Hill (bass) and Timothy Pittard (drums).

Standout tracks: “Lighterless,” “Dull” and “Busy.”

Kimberly Firestine is The Arts Editor for The Spectator and can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com

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