Nowaves Immaculate Protection cassette

There’s no denying the influence of UK post-punk and new wave here. Most of what you’ll hear on Immaculate Protection could have come right off the streets of ’70s Manchester. The pop sensibilities are adorned with all the peculiar sounds and sharp, treble-touched guitar of that period. I was happy to see the band muddy some of that shine, though. They occasionally mutate their melodies enough to maintain a dark, uneasy tone. Together with the singer’s almost monotone delivery, NOWAVES keep the revelry and angst flowing.

Nowaves Good for Health Bad for Education cassette

Moody post-punk meets warbly new wave on this Dresden band’s first album from 2019. The ten mid-tempo tracks don’t break any new ground, but they maintain an atmosphere that is gloomy without feeling hopeless. Imagine the disaffected vocals of INTERPOL and the coldwave spirit of NORMA LOY with bits of exotica (“89/90”), woozy synths, and co-ed vocal interplay (“Dark Side (of the Moon)”) for good measure. A low-key, consistent album with enough variety to keep it interesting all the way through.

Nowaves Odd Secrets LP

Driving post-punk synth from Dresden with the dark sparsity of COMSAT ANGELS or BAUHAUS, but with the lyrical creativity of NICO’s The Marble Index. The JOY DIVISION comparisons will be made, but they have their own original dark surf vibe going. The album has a danceable goth-pop sound, and the ten tracks grow more with each listen for a solid release.

Nowaves Good for Health Bad for Education LP

This is darkness in the right way. What I mean to say is that NOWAVES sound like they exist in a shroud and/or shrouded by smoke—sounds composed in the physical and metaphorical recesses, presentation that struggles to harness a primitive determination. NOWAVES will certainly appeal to goth revivalists with cuts like “Empty Sorrows” that focus on the synth and that ’80s dancefloor swing, but it’s all in the context of a record that mostly lands somewhere between EA80/GRAUZONE and WIPERS. Although the record is not overly layered, I notice something new every time I listen (WARREN ZEVON meets the CURE vibe on the title track, for example), which only encourages me to listen more.