PRESS AND QUOTES
“FIVE ON THE FLOOR!
The Wavos recently released their fourth EP, Five on the Floor! — its five tracks exemplary of the band’s eclectic, melodic sound, ranging from funk homage “Love Beach” and electro-dance rocker “Come Alive” to the twangy delight of “Buffalo Girls.”
Quick-swiping guitars and brassy blares complement a funky vocal lead to conjure excitement throughout “Love Beach.” The vocal twist around 01:33 exudes charisma, strutting wide range and a nice responsive backing vocal presence, giving way to a brass-friendly section that reminds me fondly of Funkadelic. The vocal repetition in the final minute crafts a hypnotic, replay-friendly feeling.
“Buffalo Girls” plays with a fun, infectious quality throughout. Playful synth-y fragments join alongside the hooky “Buffalo girls,” vocal refrain, intriguing in the first minute. The twangy guitar addition at the 40-second mark adds an enjoyable aesthetic edge, as does the added vocal harmonizing upon the next hook/refrain. There’s a bit of a McCartney-esque vibe around the bridge at the two-minute mark. The spacey synth-heavy segment a few moments thereafter also captivates. I’m enjoying the charismatic, upbeat flair of this throughout.
“Come Alive” is another highlight. The nostalgic synth bustling in the beginning leads into suavely melodic vocals, expanding with charisma past the one-minute mark. The “make me come alive,” vocal hook plays with hooky allure, the bustling synth and suave vocal convergence exuding a consuming sophisti-pop aesthetic. The nonchalant vocal turn around 02:30 builds a pleasant bridge, culminating fully to the “make me come alive,” hooky reprise, leading into a satisfying conclusion.
” - Mike Mineo
“NEW WAVE BAND THE WAVOS BRINGS THE PARTY TO STRANGEWAYS BREWING
Anyone who has seen The Wavos in Fredericksburg knows the energy of their performance—the lights, the tempo—and the particular surge in the room when guitarist Joe Bace strikes the first notes of “I Wanna be Sedated.” Their mashup of the Ramones with Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” is not only proficient and extremely danceable, it’s a celebration of punk and new wave music itself.
Audiences will get just that experience this weekend, when The Wavos rock Strangeways Brewing this Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.
According to synthesizer player and singer Gordon Smith, these standards are sure to be on the set list—not least because the songs are included in the band’s most recent EP “Five On The Floor!,” which dropped last week. Along with the fan-favorite covers are three new songs.
Because as Smith puts it, The Wavos are more than just a cover band, “we’re an original ’80s new wave band.”
That originality comes through in the five-song release, which pulls inspiration from funk on opening track “Love Beach” and follows that up with a sound that riffs on country chords in “Buffalo Girls” and electro-pop in the final original composition “Come Alive.” Smith, Bace and drummer Tone Maul co-write all their pieces and just as local fans have come to know them, each of their compositions on “Five On The Floor!” is fun, upbeat and compulsively danceable.
For a band used to a heavy tour schedule, 2020 was a challenging year for the three-musician outfit. But Smith said they channeled their creative energy into new music, their first album since 2014’s “Cinco de Wavo.”
But Smith said they are used to practicing remotely, having done so for a decade online. Two members reside in New York, while one is in South Carolina. So, recording remotely wasn’t as issue laden as it was for some bands.
Their geographic disparity is also why Fredericksburg is hailed as their “band hometown” by Smith. It’s easy for them to drive and meet here to play. Just after forming, The Wavos played a festival here in 2008 and got to know local acts. The Otter House was one of their usual regular spots before it shuttered, and locals have seen them at a slate of local venues, as well as festivals and breweries.
The history of the band itself is a long one and predates their time here. They’ve all been in bands together for years, but in 2008 reformed as The Wavos with the three core members. Smith first met Bace in 1977 in music school and then Maul. They were popular on the New York scene in the ’80s, playing clubs including the legendary CBGB.
“Five On The Floor!” was released at the Parkside Lounge show last week in New York, and Smith said friends “really showed up” for them. It was their best show in the city yet. They’re bringing that same passion for their sound to Fredericksburg this weekend.
” - Lindley Estes
“THE LATEST MUSIC FROM THE WAVOS
Let Cinco De Wavo, The Wavos' new 5 song EP, acquaint you with a trio of original New Wave electronic rockers. These former band members of The Privates found moderate success in the late '70s with songs like "You Got Me Breakin' Apart" and the not-Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You" (The links go to video of The Privates' appearances on The Uncle Floyd Show, the local New Jersey cult TV show now acknowledged as a predecessor of everything from The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson to Talk Soup.)Later, The Wavos' keyboards wizard, New Jersey-born Gordon Smith chose to cover "Lawnchairs" - originally by one of my obscure '80s faves Our Daughter's Wedding - with his previous band Rubberlegs. "Lawnchairs" featured the Out-for-1980 lyric "She's a boy that we like and he's gonna go far." Members of each of these bands were among the many contributors to a long period in American Pop music when gay musicians producied large amounts of the sounds people were partying to on dance floors and listening to over airwaves. Gay musicians were a huge influence on the era, but it was loooong before Out gay musicians were able to be matter of fact about who they are. Cinco De Wavo is like an AV EPK - an audio visual electronic press kit - for this newly revived band of New Wave survivors, The Wavos. When they aren't playing originals, they can be found performing their "ever-popular '80s 'new wave-o' dance parties". But the five originals on Cinco De Wavo reach back further, to their '70s roots.(We're Gonna Have A) Dance Party" assuredly starts the set. To party, you needn't listen hard to catch every one of the lyrics sung at hyperspeed, in a pre-Rap style. But while you're partying, your remaining synapses might recognize elements of it anyway. Whether you're under the influence or not, you can pick out flavors, as you would in a smoothie, and can tell they're blending the melodic simplicity and playfulness of The B-52s, the obscure Jersey band Blotto (best known for their summertime hit "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard"), and a turnaround that evokes Wild Cherry's one-hit wonder "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)" and its turnaround "Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die".The rest of the set draws on a multitude of influences from their era, from the Reggae-cum-Talking Heads styled "Tourist" to the slow Dance-Rock ballad "If Just For A Moment" to "Building A New Dream"'s Cars/Devo hybrid, to the best of all possible mindless happy endings, "It's Your Birthday".The CD art on The Wavos' Cinco De WavoThe Wavos also lavished attention on impressive, top notch album graphics credited to the renowned George DuBose. They're bright, eye-catching and clear. The yin yang image incorporated into the band name logo expands and mutates to effectively overtake the often-overlooked CD art. The Wavos won't exactly shift the ground under you, but they will get you moving. And at one song short of a six-pack, Cinco De Wavo delivers an unexpectedly fresh spin on well-worn grooves.Cinco De Wavo officially comes out on July 5. You can order it and learn more at www.TheWavos.com. Their next live gig is at the Colonial Tavern, Fredericksburg VA, on July 19.” - Bill Realman Stella
“WAVOS THROW A THREE-MAN NEW WAVE DANCE PARTY IN MYRTLE BEACH
If you were to tell local guitarist, bassist and vocalist Joe Bace that his band was stuck in the ‘80s he’d probably say, ‘Yeah, sort of, but we’re more than just the ‘80s.” Though the Wavos venture into the ‘90s, and new millennium, too, you can’t have a New Wave dance party without Billy Idol, The Cars, Devo, Depeche Mode and Van Halen, just a few of the iconic ‘80s artists that this trio covers with delight. While the band is from New York City, Bace travels from his home in Myrtle Beach to join his two New York-based band mates mostly in Virginia, where a following of college kids has brought steady work. The band has been performing in Myrtle Beach once or twice every few months for the past three years, and is scheduled for a Pine Lakes Tavern show on Aug. 2, and at Hell’s Kitchen in Wilmington, N.C. on Aug. 3. An architect by trade, Bace is in the process of relocating his family to Asheville, N.C., though he will continue to work in Myrtle Beach. “We’re weekend warriors,” he said in regards to the band’s schedule. “But I couldn’t be happier. We’ve made in-roads up north, in Virginia, and in Myrtle Beach, and are starting to in Asheville. Because we’re very specialized in what we do, we tend to stand out.” Just what the Wavos do is what Bace likes to call the “New Wave Dance Party,” and “rocktronic dance-pop with a chewy ‘80s alternawave center.” In keeping with the spirit of the inventive ‘80s, The Wavos rehearse in real-time over the Internet. “We use a program called eJamming,” said Bace. “It allows me to sit in a room in Myrtle Beach with headphones and a microphone and jam with those guys up in New York. We work up new material, and rehearse a couple days a week that way.” The band has recently released its second CD of all original music, a four-song EP called “Second Wave.” The band is finishing work on a third record, which it hopes to release soon. All of The Wavos’ projects are available on iTunes. With an eye toward production values, a slew of audio-visual gear accompanies the band at each show, no matter the size of the room. With projectors and synchronized lighting the band itself is part of the light show. “We hang a white screen behind us, and we wear white kilts [and white shirts and boots] and become a part of the projection screen.” Bace is joined by keyboard whiz and co-vocalist Gordon Smith, with Tone Maul on drums. “When I’m playing guitar, Gordon is playing bass with his left hand,” said Bace. “And when I’m playing bass it frees him up to do all kinds of things on the synthesizer. We don’t use (backing) tracks. We find the essence of the song and pick out the parts that make it what it is.” “We’re playing between four and six shows each month. The three of us are the happiest we’ve been in our entire lives.” ” - Paul Grimshaw
“WHEN THE ’80s CALL, YOU BETTER ANSWER
Over the last two years, The Wavos have built up quite the following at the Otter House. On any given Saturday, the place was jam-packed with neon-clad college kids and nostalgic 40-somethings grooving to everything from Depeche Mode to Michael Jackson. Well, now the Otter House is gone. Rather than throw in the neon towel, the New York-bred trio is set to write a new chapter in the ’Burg. To kick things off, they want to eliminate leg warmers. “If there’s one ’80s item I’d eliminate, it is definitely leg warmers,” laughed vocalist and synthesizer player Gordon Smith. “In all seriousness, there is so much tackiness in ’80s attire, as long as you are having fun wearing it, it is cool with us.” The Wavos are quintessentially ’80s. The band makes “The Safety Dance” sound even more reckless and New Order sound even more hypnotic. Their sets pull from a growing catalogue of over 100 original and cover songs. You can’t help but love the band’s story, too. Born in October 2008, The Wavos feature a trifecta (Smith, guitarist Joe Bace and drummer Tone Maul) of men who are (pretty much) normal by day, but they are ’80s rock gods by night. For example, Smith quietly works full time for a software company in New York. In his spare time, Smith throws on a loud, shiny white kilt and simply rocks it onstage. “We live in New York, so it’s hard to get my coworkers to come out to the shows,” said Smith. “Everyone is busy or preoccupied, so they don’t get to see that side of me.” If Smith could transform the band into one of The Wavos’ icons, it would require a few more tablespoons of British flair and a sprinkle of dark, black sunglasses. “I love Depeche Mode,” said Smith. “Depending on who you ask, though, we all have our favorites from Duran Duran to Joe Jackson. But we aren’t a tribute show, we really are an original band.” In addition to ’80s classics, The Wavos have built up a collection of original material. According to Smith, 25 percent of the band’s show now consists of its own tunes. In September, The Wavos released its second EP, fittingly titled “Second Wave.” The record is loaded with synthesizers and deep harmonies—sounds that position The Wavos as sort of a living time machine. Listening to “Second Wave” will inspire you to lace up your high-top kicks with the neon laces and hit the dance floor. “Bring those dancing shoes,” said Smith. “Prepare to have a fantastic time.” And a word to the wise — if you don’t wear your best ’80s attire to Saturday’s show, you’ll essentially be the kid at a costume party who isn’t wearing a costume.” - Jesse Robert Scott
“TESTIMONIALS & QUOTES
“When we opened the Otter House in 2009, I asked local musicians to help me find bands that would be a good fit for the bar, and one name that kept coming up was The Wavos. So I got them to come down from New York, and within a year they became the bar's #1 draw. They've developed a huge Fredericksburg following and they consistently bring 150-200 people out to see them. These guys are easy to work with and we've become great friends. I couldn't recommend them enough.” Steve Cameli, Co-Owner, The Otter House
“We love The Wavos! They are the most energetic and entertaining of all the bands we have hired for our weekly summer parties on Fire Island. They got everyone in our multi-generational community out dancing. A great time was had by all. They are a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them!” Donna Wemple, Social Director, Point O' Woods
“Thanks for the amazing show at our wedding! You guys were so full of energy and entertainment and all of our guests agreed! It was hard to keep people off the dance floor. Cheers to a talented group of musicians! Thank you again for all that you have done to make our wedding day as memorable as it was.” Bari Tutino
“…all we could say was, The Wavos KILLED IT!!!” Matt & Julian, Mary Washington Univ.
“You guys are amazing and fabulous entertainers!! Great set list and the crowd LOVED you! Pleasure meeting and hearing you all :)” Joelle Gilbert, booking/bartending at Colonial Tavern
“The Wavos are one of the most refreshing 3 piece live groups to emerge from the Mid Atlantic new wave scene in the past 10 years. Their clever songwriting and electrifying stage performance makes them a crowd favorite at my annual music festival, Spaghettifest. Polished, interactive, and uninhibited, the Wavos are a musical epiphany everyone should experience.” Mikael Glago, Midnight Spaghetti and Spaghettifest
“Steve told me: give The Wavos whatever they want, they bring a ton of business in here every time they come down.” Emma Chayefsky, bartender/waitress, The Otter House
“I truly loved your show, great time for all, the energy you transmit to the audience is phenomenal, best time I had at the bar in months.” Lisa Foster, Backstreet Café Roanoke ”
— (Testimonials & Quotes)
“STREAMING SOUNDS | BANDS STILL BELIEVE IN CD AS A TOOL
The Wavos "Wave Crazed EP
Having been too young to catch the New Wave craze the first time, it took me a long time to discover the stripped down synth beats and quirky, monotone lyrics of the genre. However, after stumbling upon some Talking Heads and giving myself a crash course in amazing albums by Devo, Oingo Boingo, Squeeze and Peter Gabriel, I've become a big fan of both classic and New New Wave including bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Interpol and The Killers. That said, it's really great to see a band like The Wavos continuing the New Wave tradition by combining both the classic and modern forms and crafting them into their own form of alternative power pop. The band members, longtime musical collaborators "Major" Joe Bace, Goredon Smyth and Tone Maul, all honed their skills as part of the New York City scene throughout the '80s and '90s before forming as The Wavos and bringing their act south to the beach. Since then they have garnered a reputation as energetic performers known for their extensive list of New Wave covers - but make no mistake, these guys are more than a cover band. On "Wave Crazed" they offer a small, yet memorable collection of original tracks including the danceable lead track "I Must Be Crazy" and the fancifully frenetic "Aerobic Commuting." For those who want to truly immerse themselves in this old-school vibe, tracks like "I Will Show You Mine," "Tribe Girl" and "Normal Girls" will make you think it's 1982 all over again. Buy it | Available on iTunes and CDBaby, or www.thewavos.com. See them live | Saturday night at Drink!, 503 Eighth Ave. N. Cover is $5. Call 916-2277 for details. © 2010 TheSunNews.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.thesunnews.com ” - Chris Mowder
“AUDIENCES ARE HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF FOR NEW-WAVE COVERS
The 1980s are alive and doing very well here in 2010. For living proof, look no further than The Wavos, an '80s trio from New York City that's got the electro-pop vibe down to a vintage T. "In the 1980s, we were just coming out of school, and it was such a great time for all of us," said vocalist and synthesizer player Gordon Smith in a phone interview from New York City. Since its inception in October 2008, The Wavos (consisting of Smith, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Joe Bace and drummer Tone Maul) have been turning modern, intimate venues into vibrant, new-wave throwbacks. From "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode to "Whip It" by Devo to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds, The Wavos hit seemingly everything in the "Decade of Excess," and do it quite well. Of all the places the band has rocked up and down the East Coast, it has found a rather loyal following right here in Fredericksburg. Saturday's performance will be the band's fourth time playing downtown in the past year. It's easy to see why The Wavos keep coming back. Some members of the audience come in their favorite '80s garb, and the show is typically nothing short of an authentic, all-out dance party. "Fredericksburg has been a really great place for us," said Smith. "The audience [in Fredericksburg] is unlike any other, and they really like to get into it and dance. We've put our heads together to play the best possible show we can." This time around, Smith said, the band will focus a bit more on the "ultra popular" '80s tunes. We'll just have to see if that means more of David Bowie, New Order or one of the nearly 60 bands The Wavos cover. "We're always working on new songs," said Smith. "We'll also be playing around a bit with our staging." Aside from simply being a "cover band," The Wavos released their first EP, "Wave Crazed," in March. It features seven delectably jagged tunes that are just as dance-inducing and original as the artists they cover. The Wavos will continue to do what they do best. "We're going to keep recording music," said Smith. "and, of course, we continue to have a great time. ” - Jesse Scott
““WAVE CRAZED” by The Wavos: Electro-Magnetic!
“Wave Crazed”, the debut of New York City-based band The Wavos, opens with “I Will Show You Mine”. (Note how the band doesn’t ask that we “show them ours” first.) The song’s rhythm has the elasticity of a rubber band and the frenetic tempo of an adrenaline-infused heartbeat. It’s infectious and upbeat… and children of the ’80’s will note the influences of that era’s electro-driven pop and punk right away. It’s a flashback to when music sounded good just for the sake of… well, just sounding good, damnit! Retro flavors notwithstanding, the vibe running through “Wave Crazed”– escapism through music– is as timeless as can be. You’ll just want to dance…or at least bounce around on the dance floor. Joe Bace (vocals and guitar) has a voice that’s all “the boy your mother warned you about”: hard-edged yet seductive. (Think Joey Ramone meets Adam Ant.) Gordon Smith, who does vocals and synths, has one of the most distinctive voices you’re likely to hear on the indie music scene. For many of the tracks, his vocals sound ethereal and occasionally otherworldly– which match that the no-holes-barred spirit of the music perfectly. When Bace and Smith sing together, it’s quite an impressive effect. Tone Maul (AKA Anthony Maulella), on percussion and e-drums, doesn’t let his energy level down for a single beat. The next track, “About You”, keeps up the frenzied pace of the CD’s opener. In fact, the first three songs of the EP come across as an extended, high-spirited jam session, full of abandon and an affable yet “So what?!” delivery by Bace and Smith. “Tribe Girl” features some exquisite guitar work by Bace alongside some truly awesome (Hey, let’s get with the spirit of the ‘80’s now!) rhythms. For “Aerobic Commuting”, a song inspired by the manic panic that we call life in New York City, Gordon gets all the vocals to himself, and the song allows Smith to show us a more restrained but no less far-reaching delivery. Lyrics like “Buses and trains, only half the story; Feet connect the dots hit the pavement, pounding; Nobody said life would be low-impact… Make it to the office, cool down period; Hydrate, recaffeinate; Switch gears now: motion free computing!” combine with real sounds of the city thrown in, which really add some authenticity. The multi-tasking inhabitants of the urban jungle known as Manhattan can relate. “I Must Be Crazy” sounds like the best song The Ramones never recorded; it’s the twin brother track to 1977‘s “Teenage Lobotomy”. “Normal Girls” features a truly amazing rhythm and some nicely self-indulgent electronic effects. All three members of The Wavos– Joe Bace, Gordon Smith, and Tone Maul are artists with firm roots in the NYC rock music scene of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s a testament to their combined talents that the spirit of performing live on stage (the symbiotic joy of both the musicians and their audience) comes through very well on “Wave Crazed”. The EP closes with “Keep on Shakin’”, which is what the listener will very likely do long after the last note. (also at: http://jedcentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/now-hear-this-wave-crazed-by-wavs.html?zx=ab4cdfcd198c7a19) ” - Jed Ryan