Wave On Barrage
Marty Johnson immersed himself in music, making up for missed mayhem after his recent return from military service in Germany. In Boomstick, his better-known band, Johnson’s bass lines undulate with unstable intensity. Johnson brings equal energy to his drumming duties in the newly formed Wave On Barrage, pounding out profoundly resonant rhythms. Both groups are power trios, but they share few stylistic similarities. Johnson’s singing voice plays a valuable role in Boomstick, clinging to Galactic Celt’s lead vocals to create tight harmonies. In WOB, Johnson stays silent while Ryan Hubener unleashes a primal scream pitched somewhere between Layne Staley at his most addled and Kurt Cobain at his most anguished. On “Love Scene,” the enunciation-averse singer alternates between a muted moan and a strangled shout, his wail sounding like an angry yawn. The band’s refusal to craft coherent choruses might scare away the hook-hungry masses, but unlike most of the groups raiding grunge’s grave, WOB seems more interested in the genre’s raw release than its commercial potential.