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Wave If You’re Really There is a bit of an indie hodgepodge. I found myself confused as to whether Wave Machines (UK) are a guitar band, or a disco-pop outfit. Maybe they are too. None of this is really relevant as far as evaluative criteria go, but you should know it’s eclectic. The Greatest Escape Ever Made, for example, is an earnest disco number. It’s pretty fun, the way Hot Chip or MGMT are. Then there’s a song like Punk Spirit, which is a ballad covered in distorted guitars, and almost – but not quite – a country song. Except it’s about not being a punk. Actually, that makes sense now. In all seriousness, this is a pretty great debut. These guys can write hooks, and the front of the album is packed with them. Lyrically, it’s fairly interesting. It’s danceable, owing to some pretty interesting production choices (lots of nylon string guitars, funky percussion), but there’s room to breathe. They kind of overplay the Bee Gee’s factor a little bit; high male harmonies all over the place. But that’s all I’ve got in the way of criticism. I’m thinking positive ambivalence is the best way forward on an album like this. That, and a promise to look out for what they do next.

***1/2