With their thrift-store duds, shaggy indie rock 'fros, and digs in New York City, Longwave could be considered just another band sprouting up in the wake of Strokesmania -- especially since the groups also share a record label and publicity company, and have road-tripped together. Yet, whereas Julian and company take their inspiration from the grit and grime of the Big Apple's arty denizens, Longwave mines its shimmering pop diamonds from souls residing in the U.K.
On the band's major-label debut, The Strangest Things, expansive choruses and uplifting lyrics ascend to angelic heights above chiming chords familiar to fans of U2 ("Wake Me When It's Over"), Doves ("I Know It's Coming Someday"), Travis ("Tidal Wave"), and even OK Computer-era Radiohead ("Meet Me at the Bottom"). The only obviously American hallmarks of Longwave are fleeting moments of Interpol riffage and singer Steve Schiltz, who occasionally slips into nasal vocals eerily reminiscent of the dueling Johns from They Might Be Giants. While the group's live act is much rawer than its recorded output, its ambitions remain firmly devoid of trucker-hat irony or pretentious poses, and are focused strictly on crafting spiritually rich music.