Finnish band Big Wave Riders burst onto the music scene with a pretty solid self-titled EP, and as they’ve spent more time together you can tell that the band’s grown in leaps and bounds. Life Less Ordinary is an album that evades classification, demonstrating one of those rare acts that’s just going out there to put together the best songs they’ve written and giving them to their fans.
Opener, “Waiting in the Wings” might have a bit of dream-pop swagger to open the number, but as you move into the chorus you’re going to get swept away with the exuberant vocal delivery, sharp, yet backed by soaring touches. And then in an effort not to replicate themselves too much, they move into “Stuck In Reverse,” which opens with a bit of a funky jam up front, before pulling back ever so slightly to offer club ready lyrics punctuated by a stabbing electronic pulse. Back to back, these songs might not match, but in the grand scheme of Life Less Ordinary, it’s clear that the group are destined to outlive your genre studies.
The bio page for Big Wave Riders suggests the band are merely out to replicate the styles of their youth, and if that’s the case, I have a feeling that the band spent a lot of time jamming out to the Britpop movement that conquered Europe in the 90s. One listen “California” and you’ll hear that fuzzed out guitar line with a distant vocal seemingly coming into your ears from a far off place. It’s catchy; it’s got a groove, but it builds you your anticipation for where they band will go next. And really, there’s no telling precisely where you’ll end up with this group.
“Sunny Season” is definitely a dream pop track you’d find with a lot of the bands in Europe, using a wash of melodic atmospherics to coat a throbbing bass line. I will say Treppo’s vocal delivery has a little bit more of a post-punk delivery, giving an edge to the track that you might not have had otherwise. Still, Life Less Ordinary begs you to move out of your comfort zone and move your expectations to the side. “Castle in the Air” features an incredible bass line that forces your feet to stomp about beneath your office desk, offering you a nice new-wave bent, but then the song takes off. The chorus, or what seems like the chorus blasts away into a noisy wall of guitars and vocals being pushed to their limit. Big Wave Riders never dwell on your preconceived notions, nor their own for that matter, which benefits listeners who want more than just your average album listen.
Band’s like this are bound to succeed, playing on their own terms, playing with all their heart. You can tell by listening to Life Less Ordinary just how important making music is to the group, just how important music is to the lives of Big Wave Riders. Listening to this album over and over again, I have a feeling that it will help remind you of that emotion as well.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Waiting-In-The-Wings.mp3]
Download: Big Wave Riders – Waiting In The Wings
Life Less Ordinary is out now via Soliti Music.