Album Review: The Dead Trees’ WHATWAVE


Yes, The Dead Trees are another Los Angeles bred, skinny-jean wearing, moustache-rocking, grunge garage band hitting the local club scenes (I saw them open for The Whigs at The Troubadour back in 2009).  But, this band stays distinct thanks to their blend of East Coast influenced sound (think more gritty Strokes, less preppy Vampire Weekend) with the sleepy, poppy West Coast signature.  The Dead Trees released their sophomore album (following up 2008′s King of Rosa), WHATWAVE, last month (July 18th, to be exact), but I just caught wind of it now and felt it earned a review.

WHATWAVE is an easy blend of laid back, sunny rock that any New Yorker could dig. This album is a great collection of slow to mid-tempo tracks, with standouts such as “Slow Faze Fast” (arguably the most Strokes-y track),  “Arrows” (with its understated, booty-moving guitar line), and “Play Your Hand” (with yet another quiet yet ridiculously groovy guitar line).  This album is all about subtlety, and if doesn’t get you in the first couple listens, keep trying.  The talent and quality of WHATWAVE, which, thanks to help from The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., may at first seem like a sleepy Strokes demo (actually a good thing in my opinion).  However, after a multiple careful listens, the thirty minute album emerges as The Dead Trees’ own due to the unpretentious, next-door feel and the slo-mo groove which unconsciously keeps bodies swaying.

Give the entire album a listen on Soundcloud by clicking here.