Upon my first listen to the ex-Aarhus residents’ new EP I just had to double check to see if Spotify was having a brain fart and playing something completely random or an advert or something for pizza burgers or whatever. The investigation revealed that I was in fact hearing the new Waldo & Marsha record. I think you know where this is going…
I’ve always been a bit confused as to what this band were up to. It was pretty cool going to see them when they were just getting started, I think there was 8 of them on stage and they were just hitting you with a wall of Slowdive inspired Shoegaze. Shoegaze Shoegaze Shoegaze. It’s a word I notice I put a lot in reviews these days. It’s a genre that has been revived and pummeled to death for about 5 years now – these guys were – in my opinion, the first band to really be a contender in Denmark for revivalists of the genre. An EP and album followed and shows and reviews banged it home. Yep they were good at it, maybe the best in town (they of course abandoned us and moved to the capital it seems) and did whatever they did for a few years. Now we have this.
I applaud them for totally changing their sound, look and vibe – but unfortunately that’s where my applause ends with this. The EP opens with “Attack Of The Womanizer” – a slow R&B jam drenched in autotune – almost approaching some kind of ironic parody of T-Pain going indie. With the next track, “I Wanna Have A Baby”, it’s a little more upbeat and I’m starting to realize that they are not just fucking with us – this is the way they sound now – heavy effects on the voice and neon tinged 80s pop with shallow lyrics. “You’re The Woman I Desire” is another stab at jolly pop music and “Your Heart Is A Miracle” is another R&B autotune jam. The affair concludes with “losing You Forever – this time the autotune (or vocoder) is so thick that it could actually be T-pain or Flo Rida. Yup. Never thought I’d mention those two in a review for this band.
Before you get all dismissive – I kind of see what they are going for. I’m guessing a more hi-fi version of some of the straightforward tracks from Ariel Pink or Mac Demarco – trashy 80s indie soul, just…minus the soul. Waldo & Marsha seem to have rendered whatever indie cred they had while being a Shoegaze tribute band and wrapped it up in a bag, set it on fire, rang the doorbell and ran away – leaving you – the listener to stomp it out and clean it up. It won’t burn your house down, just disturb your evening a little bit.
This may be a transitional foray for W&M – maybe it’s their true calling to play autotuned soulless booty music – only they can know. I can say that it is recorded and produced excellent – hence some stars being thrown in there, however the burden of proof is totally on them to justify their new artistic direction. I wonder what they will do live with this against their old material and a few less band members to perform it.
You can see yourself when the headline a show at RADAR on the 19th of this month. Tickets are still available.
Before you get all dismissive – I kind of see what they are going for. I’m guessing a more hi-fi version of some of the straightforward tracks from Ariel Pink or Mac Demarco – trashy 80s indie soul, just…minus the soul.