New sounds from close to home
THE WAVES CRASHING ON FACE
Waves singer-songwriter Ben Garrett is a scientist by day, so he’s no stranger to combining compounds. Maybe that’s why this Somerville/Brighton band’s debut feels like the aural equivalent of a bubbling beaker of influences, ranging from lush, West Coast-style pop (“Summer Ride’’), to drowsy, Pink Floyd-esque daydreaming (“Lost’’), to rambling alt-country (“One-Armed Man’’) to, um, Hacky Sack-friendly, jam-band reggae (“Front Lawn’’). (And that’s just tracks two through five, dude!) Or perhaps we can chalk up the vibe to the time various band members logged covering Floyd and Marley tunes, and honing their live chops by running through three decades’ worth of pop-rock hits. Not the hippest path to indie-rock glory, maybe, but it pays off here for Waves. With the exception of that reggae track (more Men At Work than Marley), the quintet — augmented here by a swirling, soft-focus array of acoustic stringed instruments — delivers a gently expansive disc that showcases both its omnivorous musical reach and love of honest-to-goodness guitar solos. Meanwhile, trace elements of the Thrills, Beachwood Sparks, and Beck’s “Sea Change’’ period (“So Low’’) burble and stream like chemical currents, not so much crashing as rippling.
The Waves play a CD-release show tonight at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St., 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. www.churchofboston.com