Review: Without Waves –Lunar Sends Us to a Spice Cabinet

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Looking for a review of a metal album and an obnoxious metaphor? This post won’t let you down.

This new album by Without Waves stretches far beyond one genre. With their weird time signatures and progressive tendencies, they spread their identity across the metal spectrum. Lunar is like the “Everything Bagel” of metal. Of course, that doesn’t mean literally everything, just anything that can make sense.

You know what, I really like this metaphor. Let’s keep going with it. “Sewing Together the Limbs” is the salt as the first song on the album and usually the first thing you taste. It’s not a distinguishing flavor, but it gives everything else a higher platform to stand on. It starts off as crushing math/hardcore by means of Dillinger Escape Plan, but halfway through the clean “chorus” comes in and gives off more of a Destrage feel. You start to get the idea that this bagel isn’t entirely offensive, but it’s not sweet either. “Poetry in Putrid Air” continues on this hardcore path and tricks you into thinking that maybe Lunar is just a salt bagel.

“Us Against” is where you get hit by the sesame seeds. A nine-minute indie post-rock ballad is soothing after the abrasive tracks, but maybe for a bit too long. The flavor is minimal but at it adds a nice undertone for the album as a whole. “Victorian Punishment” brings on the black and sinister poppy seeds. This song is HEAVY. It comes close to being grind at times, but strangely adds in some progressive guitar work on top of the beat-to-death drums. It’s a swirling and demented track and might test positive for opioids.

The album continues much in this fashion, pushing and pulling on the aggressiveness scale. They really never take a break from exploring new ground, which can get exhausting but is also a lot of fun. It’s like listening to a massive playlist where you have no idea what is coming next. Some of the styles they use are a bit dated perhaps, sounding like some older Converge, or you might even get some scant traces of a modernized nu-metal if you try to look for it, but none of it is done poorly.

That is, until you get to “Memento Mori” where they try their hand at some kind of brutal death metal and even throw in some dissonance. The garlic and onion hits super hard, sticking to your taste buds and doesn’t let go. It’s a weird track, and though it fits with the “everything at once” style of the album, the putrid breath left behind will offend most.

To some people, the everything bagel is an abomination of “whatever random spices are laying around” and makes no sense. It can be pungent and off-putting. But to others, the flavors will combine into something not necessarily coherent, but with a complexity that just manages to work. Any slight imbalance could throw the whole project off, but Lunar escapes by the crust of its bread. If you’re looking for something a bit different and can enjoy both progressive and hardcore music these days, be sure to check out Without Waves.

3/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Without WavesLunar is out March 17th via Prosthetic Records.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Haha, this was awesome.

    Gonna stick with my blueberry bagel for now though. 😉

    • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ
      • Joaquin Stick

        Lox can burn in hell

        • Is there a typo somewhere in your statement? I bet there is one.

          • Joaquin Stick

            Lox can Bern in hell

          • just wanted to say how much i appreciate this comment, with more than just a paltry upvote.

        • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

          SMOKE NOVA LOX ROX!!!!!!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I’d rather starve to death than put fish and cream cheese on a bagel. I’m from NY and we have good bagels but putting lox and cream cheese on a bagel is just unholy.

          • GoatForest

            I don’t know man. A bit of cream cheese topping a seared tilapia filet, seasoned with the right peppers combination is awesome.

          • Doom Scientist

            Lox is yummy.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        I love a good sausage, egg and cheese on a bagel. I wouldn’t put salmon on a bagel though.

        • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

          SMOKE FISH ON BAGEL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> FAST FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Gorak plz! Lox is just bad!

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

            CRAAAAAAAAZY TALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            The only cream cheese is onion and chive!

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ
          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            Gorak speaks with much wisdom this morning.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Et tu Boss?

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            LOX ROX!!!!!!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Have you never had a NY bacon, egg and cheese? They’re the only thing better than a sausage egg and cheese. Especially with a can of Arizona.

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

            & COFFEE!!!!!! COFFEE GRANT WISDOM!!!!!!!

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            HAIL

          • Hans Copronym

            SLAY THEM WITH BEANS

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        Yes plz

      • GoatForest

        I have never heard of that, but now, I want one.

  • Doom Scientist

    Just can’t abide overly screamy vocals.

  • NefariousDude

    Just like everything bagels, this ain’t too bad my dudes.

  • Howard Dean

    Holy fuck do I want an everything bagel now. Maybe toss on a sunny side up egg, maple bacon, and some sharp cheddar. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

  • Guacamole Jim

    I’m definitely interested in this after reading about them on The Monday Press (I think?). Gonna peep this later today. Thanks, Walking Stick.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a bagel but this review makes me want one. And to check the album out. Bit of fearless exploring is sometimes just the ticket. Nice work Senor Stick.

  • I gave Us Against a fair listen, as your description made it sound right up my alley. Cool song!

  • Doom Scientist

    So I’m either taking a really long road trip to Bangor or going to a ridiculous alterna-fest to see Tool cos my best friend from Portland wants to hang out.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I would like to go to one of their shows around here too, Bangor isn’t a horrible drive, but I also don’t want to sit on Ticketmaster and hit refresh every 2 seconds until I get tickets. Back in the day I had a crazy friend who would go to the brick and mortar Ticketmaster places and stand in line for tickets. Only way I was able to see them twice.

      • Doom Scientist

        Well, if you do end up going to one of them and it’s the same one we do, you can find us and we’ll hang out. The Sunday festival lineup isn’t THAT bad.

        • Joaquin Stick

          Huh, yeah I guess I’d see Caged (not really a fan, but they might be fun live) and Converge.

          • Doom Scientist

            Converge & Run The Jewels, and hopefully Weezer will play ‘Hash Pipe”.

      • Doom Scientist

        Whenever possible, I’ll hit up the actual venue for tix. However, I haven’t been able to do that for a Tool show since 1998, and I’ve seen them 10 times.

  • Stick>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Hans Copronym

    Now on my wishlist: Lunar and bagels.

    Despite my suspicion that you’re in cahoots with the baked goods industry, I must say you did a good job here.

    • Joaquin Stick

      You caught me bread handed.

      • Hans Copronym

        Never figured you for a bread stick, but I guess I shoulda Grissinit coming.

  • Rain Poncho W.

    I dunno if this is my thing, but I dug this review. Also dig bagels, although there isn’t anywhere around here to get a really good one.

  • Waynecro

    Excellent review, Mr. Stick! These jams are pretty rad, and I’m looking forward to hearing the entire album.