Tearwave's debut album finds the Buffalo quartet more placing itself for a promising future than making an immediately distinct mark -- the group has its blend of dark goth power and glazed shoegaze down excellently, but it's not immediately developed beyond that. As a result, the self-titled release is mostly an enjoyable genre exercise that will appeal to those already converted to the general approach, though one that has a lot of promise for the group's future. Singer Jennifer Manganiello has the necessary dreamily beautiful voice for such work, while the other bandmembers work all the steady pacing and digital delay pedal work necessary, with guitarist/keyboardist Doug White's efforts setting the overall tone of the songs. At Tearwave's best, they aim for a powerful if still carefully used melodrama -- "Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul," the album's best effort, follows up the introductory "Crimson Interlude" with a massive riff and a drum line that could almost be a Black Sabbath death march reconfigured for a newer generation. Somewhat more typical are songs like the almost parodically titled "Dream Bliss" (which perfectly lives up to its name, down to the extended guitar-only conclusion) and "Lotus Flower," but a stronger, almost stately atmosphere crops up throughout, especially on "Emotional Cocoon" and "Trial by Fire." Tearwave's future looks to shine brighter if that truly darker side in their work comes further to the fore for greater development, but it's still a good way to make an initial mark. - Ned Raggett
Projekt expands the shoegaze/dreampop side of their roster with their latest signing Tearwave, whose debut self-titled album was released a few days ago. The band have all the hallmarks of classic dreampop - ethereal vocals over a backdrop of swirling atmospheric noise - but there's something about them that prevents their sound from being a mere rehash of old-school shoegaze. There's psychedelic and ambient undercurrents and an effective juxtaposition of light and dark, with the combination of pretty melodies and angelic vocals and a sombre, melancholy atmosphere. The lyrics are as moving as the music, for instance Lady Aurora which has a strong sense of pagan spirituality about it. Other tracks also have a profound emotional effect for very different reasons, dealing with such unsettling topics as self-harm, mental illness and suicide, themes which contrast sharply with the soaring and often uplifting musical atmospheres. The artwork is also very beautiful, consisting of some very effective digitally manipulated images of bare branches coming together to form a surreal mesh. Well worth checking out.
A review from Crawling Tunes:
In dem Namen der Band versteckt sich schon das was ich höre wenn ich der Musik gespannt und relaxt lausche. EARWAVE. Nein kein “T” vergessen… eine wohlig weiche “Ohren-Welle” schwappt leise, rauschend im Spiel der Melancholie über mein Gesicht, in mein Ohr und erzeugt wirklich fast eine TEARWAVE in meinen Augen. Der federweiche Gesang der Jenn Manganiello gleicht einer Reise mit unbekannten Zielen. TEARWAVE lassen mit ihrem gleichnamigen Album SLOWDIVE, LUSH oder zum Beispiel RIDE ROSE wieder auferstehen. Die Band die amerikas verschneitester und deprissivster Stadt beheimatet ist, nämlich in Buffalo im Staate New York, fabriziert grossartigen Shoegaze/Dream-Pop. Amerikanische und europäische.
Shoegaze und Darkwave Messageboards und Blogs sind voll mit TEARWAVE seit sich die Band, im späten Jahr 2006, bei Myspace vorstellte.
The hypnotic, late ‘80’s Alternative subgenre known as "Shoegaze" has been brought into the 21st Century by Buffalo, NY's Tearwave. Their debut album is a mesmerizing musical astral journey. "Lotus Flower" (also the first video from the album) is as intoxicating as an exotic scent. "Lady Aurora" starts spreading rosy light to velvety darkness. "Emotional Cocoon" soars on ethereal butterflies’ wings. The instrumental “Crimson Interlude” has fevered blood coursing through the veins; a fitting precursor leading into the somber “Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul.” “Trial By Fire” is darkly ethereal. “Dream Bliss” is a fitting soundscape to altered dreamlike states. -Athena Schaffer
I'm not even sure how to start out this review besides the introduction already given in the artist profile above. For those seeking more great music of this style in the ethereal goth genres, this is a perfect way to fill the void. This self-titled debut brings us ten wonderfully dreamy tracks with titles that describe the moods and emotions that envelope the listener in a soft sweet "Emotional Cocoon" as you get caught in a "Dream Bliss" listening to the smooth sounds visual of a "Lotus Flower" or the soft voice of the "Nightingale".
"Lotus Flower" is the introductory piece for this album with its moving percussion driving the track along with layers upon layers of bass and guitars all with some great reverb for a dreamy effect. This also gives the listener the first taste of Jenn's heavenly vocals which always remain up in that angelic range and vocal style, never to come down. As if providing us with a sequel to the first piece, "Emotional Cocoon" picks up right where we left off from the previous track, drifting along on a blissful ethereal dreamscape. The percussion on each piece is an excellent foundation and addition to their style that without would still be excellent, but would take on a whole new life and style.
As with many bands in this genre, the soaring guitar which takes on something of an angelic voice itself is another solid element of their style. Nearly every track has some taste of this guitar work above and beyond the other layers of guitar, whether plucked, strummed or deep bass, this siren-like backdrop never ceases to amaze me how captivating it can be across so many pieces. When you really sit and listen to each piece, there are so many great elements that come together so well for a splendorous and dreamy combination.
It was extremely hard to pick out favorite tracks from this album as they are all so well done and the homogenous nature of the album also draws them all together. The first couple of pieces really captured me with the emphasis on the excellent percussion, while "Trial By Fire" and "Lady Aurora" really bring out the excellent guitar work described above. Other pieces have a sort of ballad-like appeal with an emotional description of "Melinda" or the awesome effect of "Crimson Water Cleanses The Soul" which sports some gothic rock sounding guitars and some heavy percussion that would make fans of The Mission UK swoon. And then there's the final piece "Nightingale" which again has some excellent, heavy percussion with some great reverb like the band and the listener are sitting in an echo chamber together for a full effect. But the real beauty of this and many pieces lie with the combination of the dreamy vocals and heavenly guitars, each complimenting the other for a full, beautiful sound.
That wraps up the album and once again I think the people over at Projekt Records have found another stellar group to add to their roster. We'll be watching this group with great excitement over the next few years. Rating: 5/5 -Jacob Bogedahl
When listening to this self titled debut the name of a particular band springs to mind immediately: Slowdive. There is no denying. Another band that can be compared with Tearwave is Cocteau Twins, also because of the female vocals. This four-piece from Buffalo, NY, presents a traditional style of shoegaze/dreampop. No frills, just the pure thing. And on an alluring level.
With the opener "Lotus Flower" the tone is set. They don't deviate from their concept during the remainder of the album. This debut is a monolithic slab of shadowy tunes. The wailing guitars and the soothing voice of Jennifer Manganiello go together well. "Melinda" is probably the best example of their dreampop sensibilities, one drifts away on the dreamy tunes. The slow pace of "Trial by Fire" is as shoegaze as it can get, "Lady Aurora" sounds lush and tender, "Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul" and "Nightengale" sound majestic. A song to watch out for is "Pointless Saviour". The energetic percussion, sudden shifts and dynamic touches of this track will entice even the most skeptical listeners. A clear highlight! This is a promising and pleasant debut, lovely music for dreary evenings. Tearwave should be able to conquer their place within the nu-gaze/post-shoegaze movement with this set of songs. Rating: 7.7/10 - Nightporter
Music is like a vital organ---something that keeps you going, although you may not consciously be aware of it every day, it is there to keep you alive, and without it, you soon will die. Music can do that too. Although it’s not a vital organ---and you’re not going to die without it, it will darken your soul and your heart, if you’re not able to have it in your life. Tearwave’s music is something that I’ve been without, and it wasn’t until I heard their music, and felt their emotions, that I realized I had been without something very special, and now, it is apart of me.
Tearwave inspire and haunt my soul with sadness, loss, and with, beautiful, beautiful hope. Bringing before me extraordinary visions of enchanted places, perhaps, it is in those visions presently, where I want to be, and through the lush ethereal and mistiness of melodies of Tearwave’s music, it is through that medium which takes me toward those places I am to encounter and face head on, with my own deepening fears and dreams to make sense of, in my enchanted journey. Tearwave’s visions are moody, haunting, enlightened, heroic and loved---it’s about each of these and more. It is what I got out of it, and that’s the beauty of music, in general…right?
“Lotus Flower”, “Emotional Cocoon”, “Trial By Fire”, “Melinda” and “Pointless Savior” embody such a grave of fallen hearts, life’s missed opportunities, regrets, ambitions, revelations, success to be had, and the strength to take them all on, every step of the way, whether I want to or not, it is in the thickness of my blood.
It is with great fondness and respect, that I, bow down with a warm heart rushing, and an open soul to take in what is truly around me---known and felt, but not always visible, that I may send my appreciation to Tearwave for their honest emotions, visions of worlds fantastic and pure, dark and lonely, but always with belief---always. Let the dreamy vocals and stunningly intuitive lyrics and whimsical melodies of Tearwave show you what makes this band a massive talent to be heard---across time. -Lynda Dale MacLean
Living their musical lives through a genre long since past, in a country whose 'gothic' culture seems to be not only declining in number but authenticity, Tearwave has been fighting what seems to be an uphill battle continuing on their atmospheric path. However, with experience drawn from bands whom have long ago fallen into the recesses of time nearly a decade ago, Tearwave is flawlessly drifting through the music realm of the gothic subculture, not only in this country, but in a worldwide view with the help of their label Projekt. The band themselves embrace romanticism and emotional atmospheres in an era where feeling of any sort is merely classified as "emo" and disregarded as quickly as they have come to the human in question. Let's face it, we've all become machines at this point to live up to what is now trendy and "cool" in this country. Emotions are now looked down upon when they are the core aspect of what makes us human, and it is through musicians like those in Tearwave that we can rediscover this not only primal, but essential key to our being.
The imagery that the band evokes through their beautiful style whispers of their own countryside; a land surrounded by water and forest. This combined with the large New York City no too overwhelmingly far away makes for a unique feeling; a painting of desolate forests and cold, frozen lakes with snow-laden streets and city lights. A place where nature and the urban dwellings of today meet in equality. Not even the city can escape the frozen drifts of winter and there is nothing better suiting to fit this style than the gentle, fragile snow dancing endlessly through the sky to a waltz amongst the air molecules, only to land into one giant blanket of indistinguishable characteristics. It indeed is strange how no two snowflakes are alike, but end in a large infinity of blueish white, just as the atmosphere carries throughout the music in a sea of reverb and delay. Dreams of snow...sleeping endlessly under this frozen blanket.
Haunting is nearly the only word that could truely describe Tearwave's initial self-titled release on Projekt. Everything found here is indeed haunting in a very chilling way. The music wreathes of cold almost moreso than even the expanse of black metal. This music shall forever remain in my consciousness just as the beautiful La Floa Maldita did so long ago when I heard the same two tracks that I have still only heard today. It is hard to believe that music like this exists in this country, where so much of the popular culture is fighting against beauty and feeling for a more machine-like approach to humanity. I can do nothing but thank them though for their beautiful efforts and let them know that it pays off. In the world of metal, its sometimes so incredibly hard to remember that I'm a human. These strange harmonious works of pure musical art are always a much needed warm embrace to remind me that there is still a heart within this cocoon of a body. Certainly one of the best atmospheric releases of this year! -Lord Lycan
Shoegazer/dreampop ruled the alternative rock world in the early 90s; now it’s just another sub-genre, ignored by all but the most devout. That’s kind of a shame, actually, as many young bands making that kind of sweet candied noise equal the best practitioners in ye olden days. Tearwave is a good example. The Buffalo-based quartet isn’t an innovator in the shoegaze movement by any means, but it does do everything—sweeping, gauzy guitars, sturdy melodies, lush vocals, insistent rhythms—just right. As with any type of rock, songs are the key, and Tearwave has some strong ones: “Pointless Savior,” “Emotional Cocoon” and the gorgeous mini-epic “Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul” shimmer and flow in exactly the way good dreampop should. Nice stuff. -Michael Toland
Tearwave make music for the days when shadows lengthen on the walls. Life in upstate New York appears to have seeped into the band's soul as their debut album is rife with bleak winters, sullen desperation, and glimmers of beauty just gone by. However, Tearwave do not simply mine the tropes of the shoegaze genre in imitation of other group's past glories. Rather, they offer a few unique twists on the familiar territory of ethereal goth; the guitar work features a nice blend of deep, hazy chorus and stark acoustics, and the percussion is unusually strong. And Jenn Manganiello's voice is as lovely and melodic as anyone working in a similar vein. At times distant, at times viscerally immediate, Tearwave's dream-like shoegaze will appeal to parched ears thirsting for shimmering textures and melancholic musings. 4 out of 5 stars. -Jack
Shoegazer, or dream-pop is a genre that had lots of adherents and fans back in the ‘90s. With the disappearances of bands like Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, and Love Spirals Downward (now known as Love Spirals), fans of the lush, dreamy soundtracks that these bands produced were left to languish and wait for a band like Tearwave.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, this band takes the dream-like viscosity of those past bands and produces a tear-squeezing, blood-freezing original that will have you feeling as if dream-pop never left. And if the style did disappear, who cares…it’s back now with very powerful, and associative differences. Tearwave is beyond dream-pop; it is a frighteningly addictive walk through a glittering ice-cave that will entomb you as you descend into its heart.
There is a haunting element that runs throughout the Tearwave debut, reminiscent of the ethereal beauty of the Suzanne Perry years of Love Spirals Downward, with more than a hint of that dark, cold desolation that runs through Lycia’s ambient masterpiece, Cold. Cold led you into the deepest recesses of an endless frozen wasteland of emotion, creating a visually relentless white landscape of no redemption and no exit. Tearwave is part of that inescapable mythology. The music itself is a wall of sound and melody that is made all the more heart-rending by the vocals of Jennifer Manganiello, the Cure-like repetition of Joe Villella’s surging bass-lines, the soft rhythmic beats of John Stephanski’s drums and percussion, and the hypnotically enveloping guitars and keyboards of Doug White. It is also Doug White’s expert production of Tearwave that makes this excellent debut what it is, a masterwork from a band who will only get better.
Music is a canvas that, if you crawl up into the midst of it, you will be engulfed by the stories within. Music can evoke images, and then take those images to whisk you to places within your own heart, however, dark, sad, happy, or bleak. It takes a band of immense power to paint those extreme aural travelogues full of peculiarities. Tearwave is one of those. In their striking debut, Tearwave has set the groundwork to become a classic, a build that defies category and description. Rating: 4 out of 5. -Matt Rowe
Tearwave is an unique experience for those who have an inner self crowded by inexplicable feelings and love of the dark side. Jenn Manganiello speaks directly into the brain of listeners like an ESP phenomenon. An amalgamation of atmospheric moods created by percussion and keyboards, creating a picture frame for her mesmerizing voice - almost a sigh.
Tearwave effectively captures the dark ambience of the shoegazer genre in their debut album. If you love Cranes, this was made for you.
Shoegaze was a style of music most popular in the late '80s/early '90s that consisted of fuzzy guitars, some synthesizer sounds, simple drums, and subdued, nearly monotonous vocals. Lyrics are unimportant as the focus is on the psychedelic sound created by the blending of the elements, and onstage charisma was nearly nonexistent. For some reason, although shoegaze faded out of popularity more than a decade ago, there are many bands and even more fans that refuse to let go. If you’re one of those fans crying over your copies of Lush and Cranes albums, Tearwave is here to fill the void left by the shoegaze decline. Rating: 4 out of 5. -Charity VanDeberg
Tearwave's self-titled album is pretty typical of the genre, but includes one or two surprises that bring it a little further into the present. It is airy and atmospheric, pretty and melodious. Jennifer Manganiello's beautiful ghostly soprano beckons the listener through the moody instrumentals like a woman lost in foggy woodlands. It seems to float along in a murky haze of sounds, sometimes accentuated by more prominent bells or guitar. In fact, it is this sudden reversion to a bit of clarity that updates Tearwave's sound. Although most of the songs sound pretty similar, there is one in particular that stands out. "Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul" begins with slow electric guitar riff, leisurely joined by drums. Manganiello's melodic vocals begin then pause to allow the listener a quiet bit of effectively touching spoken word. If any song on the album will get to you, it's this one.
It is not groundbreaking, as any shoegaze album will be just another attempt to force one more breath into a dying type of music, but Tearwave is a solid effort. It is pretty, soft, and effectively captures the dark mood of the genre.
Fans of My Bloody Valentine, Lush, and Slowdive will fall into a state of uncontrollable obsession with the mighty Tearwave. Much like their hometown of Buffalo, New York, their dreamy melodies can be ice cold at times but at Jenn Manganiello’s ethereal vocals float over top of those guitar glaciers and melt them away. Tight rhythmic beats lure you nearer and nearer until you feel as if Tearwave is going to tell you its deepest darkest secret, only for it to crumble into a big passionate foundation of harmony and discordant waves of sonic tapestries lush with ornate spectacles and sights. Their catchy rhythms cast beats back towards trip-hop while the dense guitars and melodies haunt your soul. - J-Sin
This release from 2007 offers 45 minutes of dreamy pop songs.
Tearwave is: Jennifer Manganiello on vocals, Doug White on guitar and keyboards, Joe Villella on bass, and John Stephanski on drums and percussion.
It's called "shoegaze" music because the performers stand still on-stage and watch what they're doing to their instruments instead of gallivanting around the stage. But that doesn't describe the sound--and (oddly) there's a distinct sound to so-called shoegaze music. It's dreamy, heavily hypnotic, yet steeped in barely restrained intensity. It's more goth than pop, more pop than rock, more addictive than most street drugs.
The guitars blaze in shimmering sheets of fire that hang glistening in the air, neither advancing nor receding. The notes slide together in a liquid fashion. Some riffs shine like day-stars about to go nova.
The keyboards (and electronics) generate an eerie drone that sways with an infectious tremble. The basslines possess a molten quality, again pursuing a fluid delivery rather than establishing any rhythmic pulsation. The drums are often understated. Well defined and compelling, but submerged in the music's overall ethereal mien.
The vocals are especially angelic. Sweet and engaging, but expansive in a manner that makes them elusive and mysterious. Sultry syllables swim with dazed emphasis. Many of the lyrics articulate alienation, from love, from humanity, from society, from suffering. The quest for fulfillment comes full circle, unearthing the goal in the only place it can flourish: in the confident self.
The compositions are solid and bewitching. Decelerating aspects of hard rock and fusing that vitality with a ghostly demeanor produces tuneage of a highly attractive nature.
Long after the sad departure of bands like Lush and Ride, Tearwave arrives to relight the torch and continue the legacy that is shoegaze.
AMAZING new signing on Projekt!!! Shoegaze is alive and well in Tearwave. A decade after bands like Lush, Slowdive and Ride rose and fell into obscurity, Tearwave comes to fill the void. Not just a re-creation of things tried and true, but a decade wiser and mature. Tearwave integrates sounds echoed from the spectrum of Shoegaze music, yet rarely mimics their influences; Tearwave takes their cues then creates a whole new supernova of sound for a current generation of indie-rock listeners. Jenn Manganiello’s luscious vocals dig deep into the listener’s subconscious soul with her red-wine melodies and the distant warmth of her lyrics. Doug White’s guitars and keyboards soothe and drive with melodic darkness. John Stephanski’s arsenal of vintage drums and percussive instruments lay a pounding foundation while Joe Villella's solid bass battens down the hatches to round out Tearwave’s monumental sound. Tearwave?s compact, tight and driving songs are infused with an uneasy haunting mood; their music is dark and moody with an edge of troubling inspiration. This spellbinding sound has the genre?s enthusiasts spreading a frenzied buzz about Tearwave. U.S. and Europe Shoegaze and Darkwave message boards and blogs have been full of Tearwave references since the band?s appearance on MySpace just a few months ago.
"Shoegaze" is an ambient, mesmeric subgenre of Darkwave which first emerged in the late 1980’s in England, a sound defined originally by My Bloody Valentine and others. Buffalo, NY-based Tearwave are now redefining the sound and bringing it firmly into the 21st Century with their self-titled debut album. (Projekt Records). An intoxicating nectar is released into the air with "Lotus Flower." "Emotional Cocoon" is a little reminiscent of Lacuna Coil, and displays a beautiful metamorphosis. "Trial By Fire" is the musical equivalent of walking on coals in a trance state. "Melinda" paints a surreal portrait. "Lady Aurora" brings the first rays of sunlight to the fading darkest night. "Dream Bliss" transports the listener to an astral plane. The heart-pumping instrumental "Crimson Interlude" leads into the melancholic "Crimson Water Cleanses the Soul." "Pointless Savior" is dischordant and chaotic. "Nightingale" is as tranquil as the call of a songbird. - athena
From the moment you hear the first notes of this album, Tearwave will hypnotize you with their sound. This Buffalo, NY. based quartet weaves elements of ambient guitar and keys into tapestries of brilliance which are supported by melodic basslines and well-framed percussive work. This album is musically beautiful from end to end… However, the true hook lies within the delicate lull of vocalist, Jennifer Manganello’s breathy harmonies. Her voice is to your ears what the siren’s calls were to sailors, inviting you to come and drown in the beauty of its sound. Though newly born into the music community, this band promises to entrance and captivate you on an emotional level time and again.
As a music journalist, it isn’t often that I can say I fell in love with an album. Oftentimes the music I listen to is great, as long as it’s on… then it’s out of sight and out of mind. I found I couldn’t step away from this album, and I actually put it in when I was done listening to other things I was writing about. I don’t listen to music that is more than entertainment often anymore, but that was the case here. The collective passions behind Tearwave truly show themselves in the way the music sounds, but more so in the manner in which it resonates in your heart. The first song, ‘Lotus Flower,’ is a prime example of how deeply emotional this music is.
‘Lotus Flower’ is written from the perspective of a woman who is revered purely for the sake of her physical beauty, and with images of being on display, describes what a cold and hollow existence that is from the perspective of being alone. The alternating verse of the chorus; “Who will hold her/who will love her?” is particularly heart-wrenching when brought to life by Jennifer‘s voice. The way the accompaniment begins, from the mournful notes of the opening guitar line to the cool tone and tempo of the bass, this song is insanely haunting.
That is just a taste of one song out of ten. In order to experience some of the rest please visit Tearwave on VampireFreaks.com, and learn more about them at their official page at Projekt. Rating: 10 out of 10. -Benny Hell