In the Wake
Thanks in part to production by Jeremy Fisher, guitarist for the terrific Wichita heavy band Torque, In the Wake’s full-length debut rocks hard enough to be called metal, but the music defies easy labels. Though lead singer Bryce Weinberg’s whisper-to-a-roar vocals are always accessible, luring listeners in and carrying them away when the occasion calls for bombast, that voice carries more metal edge than pop sheen. That’s true of all of the elements here, including layer upon layer of Beatles-y melodicism in the guitar riffs, which carry enough salt to offset the sweetness. The 12-song Paper Skyline flows like a series of interlocking suites, building what feels like an album-ending crescendo by the second song, “Perspective,” and then receding, forming one climax after another. The end of the record features an instrumental track, “The Tides Arise,” that is simply a series of cascading guitar parts shimmering like a mix of a meteor shower, a fireworks display and an alien invasion — a moment somewhere near the heart of what makes this band and record so special.