Album Review – Thirst by Waves of Fury
Ever tried a food dish that shouldn’t have worked but somehow does? I’m thinking mushy peas and
ice cream on the same plate. Well – Waves of Fury are much the same. They have been likened
to a mix of Wilson Pickett and The Midnight Movers but without Wilson and with Iggy Pop or Joe
Strummer on vocals. Sounds a bit crazy? Well it is – but it WORKS.
‘Thirst’ is the debut 10 track album for this London based trashy raw garage rock soul band and is
out on 29th October through Alive Naturalsound. This quintet from the West Country are seeking to
revive soul and R&B by giving it a truly unique sound. The drawling, almost incomprehensible vocal
mixes with fuzzy guitars and some great screeching riffs whilst mixed with this are ridiculously epic
brass sections that you think must be cribbed from a Motown number from the ‘60s. This album
bleeds swagger and truly stomps on your senses.
The album sees Carter Sharp (vocals), Bim Williams (horns), Fil Ward (guitars/vocals), James
Macphee (drums) and Jamie Bird (pianos/vocals) take up the rhythm & blues blueprint and filter it
through a 40+ year historical path that encompasses everything from Motown & Stax to The
Stooges, Sex Pistols, Spiritualized & The Mary Chain. It’s a sonic blast of an album, and a welcome
breath of fresh air.
Prior to the album being recorded at PJ Harvey’s Bristol studio, Waves Of Fury spent several weeks
touring the southern states of America. That experience very much shapes the record as Carter
Sharp explains “We are based in Somerset, and having travelled a bit in Southern US, I think it’s
our closest equivalent to some of those places. There’s a similar sense of darkness, reservation,
secretiveness, closed communities. The songs are about types of behaviour and relationships that
happen everywhere, but which maybe seem a bit more dangerous away from bright, noisy, crowded
cities. I was interested in the idea that maybe it’s easier to get away with things in dark, quiet and
Lyrically, the album is inspired by the great gothic writers like Poe and Saul Bellow fused with Carter
Sharp’s own biting observations of everyday life, particularly obsessions. One of the best examples
of this is ‘Viodrene (I Don’t Get A Hard-On Over No-One)’, a savage and humorous indictment of
celebrity culture and movie star narcissism.
The album is also very much about technology says Carter: “For example, a few years ago, I think if a
broke indie band wanted to have real horns on a record, it would have been really hard. They’d have
needed a rich label funding it. Now with things like Protools and good studios being affordable and
session players easy to find, we were able to make the record we wanted on a tiny budget. Which
hopefully people will enjoy.”
So, what’s the debut album like? Pretty damn fine. With tracks like ‘Businessmans Guide To
Witchcraft’, ‘Killer Inside Me’, ‘Death Of A Vampire’ , ‘I Don’t Know What To Make Of Your Fucked
Up Friends’ and ‘These Things I Leave You’ being my own picks from the album. Saying that all
the tracks are enjoyable and once you get over the attack on the senses you will really start to
appreciate what a good debut album this is. Now, back to my mushy peas and ice cream…anyone
seen the ketchup?
Review by Doug Duffin