Shoegazer, or dream-pop is a genre that had lots of adherents and fans back in the ‘90s. With the disappearances of bands like Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, and Love Spirals Downward (now known as Love Spirals), fans of the lush, dreamy soundtracks that these bands produced were left to languish and wait for a band like Tearwave.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, this band takes the dream-like viscosity of those past bands and produces a tear-squeezing, blood-freezing original that will have you feeling as if dream-pop never left. And if the style did disappear, who cares…it’s back now with very powerful, and associative differences. Tearwave is beyond dream-pop; it is a frighteningly addictive walk through a glittering ice-cave that will entomb you as you descend into its heart.
There is a haunting element that runs throughout the Tearwave debut, reminiscent of the ethereal beauty of the Suzanne Perry years of Love Spirals Downward, with more than a hint of that dark, cold desolation that runs through Lycia’s ambient masterpiece, Cold. Cold led you into the deepest recesses of an endless frozen wasteland of emotion, creating a visually relentless white landscape of no redemption and no exit. Tearwave is part of that inescapable mythology. The music itself is a wall of sound and melody that is made all the more heart-rending by the vocals of Jennifer Manganiello, the Cure-like repetition of Joe Villella’s surging bass-lines, the soft rhythmic beats of John Stephanski’s drums and percussion, and the hypnotically enveloping guitars and keyboards of Doug White. It is also Doug White’s expert production of Tearwave that makes this excellent debut what it is, a masterwork from a band who will only get better.
Music is a canvas that, if you crawl up into the midst of it, you will be engulfed by the stories within. Music can evoke images, and then take those images to whisk you to places within your own heart, however, dark, sad, happy, or bleak. It takes a band of immense power to paint those extreme aural travelogues full of peculiarities. Tearwave is one of those. In their striking debut, Tearwave has set the groundwork to become a classic, a build that defies category and description.