“Wave Chase’s Tell Me What To Know is quite literally ‘all killer, no filler’.”
Back in 2004 we were blessed with one of the most important indie pop albums in past few decades, that band was The Killers and the album was Hot Fuss. Hot Fuss transcended society, it didn’t matter who you were the album had a bit of something for everyone and still features staple tracks for every UK wedding DJ. However, the reason Hot Fuss stuck around for so long was the simple reason that every track sounds like a single, fast forward almost a life time for the south coast indie dreamers Wave Chase (all the band members start 2020 still in thier teens) and we’re struck by the same phenomenon- a release that is quite literally ‘all killer, no filler’.
“If Tell Me What To Know was a vinyl release you were showing your friend, you could drop the needle anywhere and within 30 seconds they would be a fan.”
The EP was backed by 2 singles Walk The Walk and Talk Tonight, both dropped in late 2019 and giving us a strong indication of the quality of what we would witness with the full release. Although both the singles are undoubtably bangers they feel more at home in a full release, Tell Me What To Know is the culmination of a couple of years of work for the band. This is the first full chapter, the result of tirelessly gigging to amass a healthy local following, Wave Chase are a band that have proved themselves to be more than ‘that band your mates are in’ and have now shown that both live and in the studio that 2020 is the time they will infiltrate the UK grassroots music scene. If Tell Me What To Know was a vinyl release you were showing your friend, you could drop the needle anywhere and within 30 seconds they would be a fan.
“Addicted is what we’ve come to expect from Wave Chase, it’s a singalong sunshine anthem with intricate playing to add depth to it’s lighthearted tone.”
Behind every great songwriting duo is a band to support them of equal strength- for every John and Paul (Wave Chase’s George and Tim), you need a George and a Ringo (Wave Chase’s Mickey and Charlie). From the first bars of EP opener Addicted it’s clear Wave Chase have the all the integral parts and the very first point your ears jump to is Mickey’s part early Arctic Monkeys, part early Strokes crawling lead guitar work. Wave Chase have mastered the art of space in music and the art of understanding each other as musicians, dappled throughout Tell Me What To Know is angelic indie-pop perfection with the spotlight shining on each of the four piece for their own individual moment. Opening with Addicted was an obvious choice for the EP, it’s become a crowd favourite and aside from the 2 singles, it’s the strongest track on the EP. When ordering the tracks Wave Chase must have realised they had 5 tracks of near perfection so leading with the best still wouldn’t leave fans disappointed… rather it would leave them ready for more. Addicted is what we’ve come to expect from Wave Chase, a singalong sunshine anthem with intricate playing to add depth to it’s lighthearted tone.
“The Killers Mr Brightside demo features which on the bands greatest hits album and it isn’t a patch on any track on Tell Me What To Know, with The Killers global success before Wave Chase, they seem to be one strong producer away from a global smash.”
Addicted follows with Morning Light, a more mellow number which makes it feel a little out of place in the collection of tracks, this will be the live track that the couples sway and romance each other to before bouncing and bopping around the room for the rest of the set. Morning Light and the EP’s production are the only parts that let this release down, but when we say let down, we mean drop the EP from the next Hot Fuss to being the next Sam’s Town (everyone loves Sam’s Town, but it isn’t Hot Fuss). Production is something that often plagues bands in their early releases, the studio is a whole new instrument for fledgling musicians to learn the craft of. The Killers Mr Brightside demo (which features on the bands greatest hits album) isn’t a patch on any track on Tell Me What To Know, with The Killers global success before Wave Chase, the indie upstarts seem to be one strong producer away from a global smash.
“Wave Chase definitely aren’t having beginners luck, these boys are becoming guru’s of catchy indie pop, and we’re all for that!”
Wave Chase are a band of all the ooh’s and ahh’s, which we love them for and is part of the reason they have such a loyal singalong fanbase. Opening with an upbeat tempo and a do, do, do vocal line we as listeners feel we’re in comfortable Wave Chase territory with Right Side which cleverly hides (in plain sight) the Tell Me What To Know title in the chorus lyrics. Right Side, is the final straw, it’s the ‘they think it’s all over… it is now’. It’s done, we’re convinced, Wave Chase definitely aren’t having beginners luck, these boys are becoming guru’s of catchy indie pop, and we’re all for that!
Would this be a better EP if they were backed by a major label and a team around them, yes, yes it would, but does that mean it’s a bad EP, and that answer is no, not at all. Tell Me What To Know sounds like like the honest youthfulness of the band, this will be the EP that lives on in their fans hearts long after mainstream success (it will be a tragedy if they don’t achieve mainstream success). Tell Me What To Know sounds like a perfect representation of where they were in that moment of recording- having fun, laughing and probably toasting a beer or two at their achievements. Long live first recordings, the ones that sound like a band and not like Pro Tools!