The Soup Studio sessions for the Wave Pictures debut album Instant Coffee Baby were clearly productive, with no fewer than five supplementary tracks lifted from the tapes to make a generous EP with Just Like A Drummer.
And there’s no danger of feeling like you’ve just been introduced to a band’s cast-offs, as these have the same delightful lyrical insights, intricate accompaniment and easy on the ear melodies. They also make a coherent whole.
Singer David Tattersall keeps his distinctive if somewhat piercing style, and while it won’t please everybody, it’s subtle nods to Alex Kapranos and Julian Casablancas mean the vocal delivery has a bit of an edge.
The stars here are the songs, however – and you could write a decent sized pamphlet with the lyrical titbits we’re faced with. Some of them are downright sinister. Anyone who gently sings “fuck you and fuck all your friends”, as he does in God Bless The Reverend Gary Davies without a hint of malice, is clearly hiding something. Dust Off Your Heart, meanwhile, has more incendiary ambitions, delivered in close harmony no less unsettling in their matter-of-factness.
Not all the band’s sentiments are quite so destructive. “I didn’t lose my sense of humour, I gave it away!” affirms Tattersall on Time To Leave Town, not long after confessing about “my insides, full of mustard and Pro Plus”. Such lyrical oddities, not forgetting to include the “vinyl records melting on your stove” in God Bless The Reverend Gary Davies, set the Wave Pictures apart.
Musically it’s all most enjoyable and inoffensive, which could be awfully dull were it not for the carefully studied guitar lines and subtle interaction between band members. Occasionally these are allowed to run free, and the gallop to the finish with bass and distorted guitar in Hotels And Motels indicates a slackening of the leash.
It’s odd, on this evidence at least, to think the band have been compared to a lesser version of The Enemy, for here there’s no comparison between the two – no sub-Jam riffing, no laddish lyrics that serve well for football chanting but little else. There’s no danger of converting these songs into football chants – Hotels And Motels especially – but no danger of getting tired of them on repeat hearings either. A pleasing supplement to the album from a band whose proficient songwriting ought to serve them well.