The Wavos – Here We Go! (2022)” - Nicole Mendes, 10/3/22

The Other Side Reviews

What do you get when you add a dollop of 80s post-punk to indie-rock and punk, sprinkle in a bit of 90s alternative rock, then slather it with doses of electropop and dance – The Wavos, that’s what you get. Having a brilliant time playing songs from Prince, Ramones and Depeche Mode (to name a few), The Wavos are far more than a cover band with their original material being as fantastic. This is my introduction to the US-based lads, but they are already receiving coverage from various international blogs and playlists. One of the latest additions to their discography is the single ‘Here We Go!’  

Not ones to slant to political content, The Wavos often play songs with a less provocative meaning. I am not saying the lads have no substance, but ‘Here We Go!’ appears to be far more socially conscious with a narrative on political events. An anthemic song created to “represent (among other things) the growing strength of women in the USA, from the Me Too Movement to the fight for reproductive rights…”  

Following their EP Five on the Floor!, ‘Here We Go!’ has been described by critics as playful, eclectic and melodic. Obscure Sound was highly impressed with their 2021 EP and equally as impressed with the new song – we have to agree. A bit experimental, there is a great [mystery] in the melodic arrangement and effect of instrumentation. A revolving spiral of 80s-inspired synths are laid atop a stomping drumbeat foundation and then interwoven with the band’s hard-hitting vocals. Interestingly enough, while there is a chaotic frenzy to the melody, the song has a strange harmony about it.  

Unlike the tracks on Five on the Floor!, ‘Here We Go!’ can really punch you in the gut when you hear it. Their EP showcased versatility moving from punk to alternative rock, but the new song enhances their innovation bringing a contemporary side to old-school synths. In fact, there is an almost palpable sense of pumping your fists in the air with each beat in ‘Here We Go!’.

FIVE ON THE FLOOR!” - Mike Mineo, 7/15/21

Obscure Sound

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.


Turn Up the Volume blog 8/2/21

All Dressed Up And Ready To Go – Swing Your Hips With THE WAVOS
Daily electricity to load your batteries
2 August 2021

Who: A modern rock band with influences ranging from the insanely creative ‘80s new wave and punk to the driving alternative rock of the ‘90s and ‘00s, with liberal doses of electro-pop and techno dance energy.

“The track [Love Beach] is an homage to Prince and to Stevie Wonder’s bass lines, it brings an element of soulful funk to our traditionally ’80s new wave, powerpop focus. Joe’s clean guitar chords and falsetto vocals lay the foundation of the song.” says the band.

Turn Up The Volume: We’re halfway through summer, let’s throw in some new dynamic disco ball dazzlement to keep our limbs in great shape. Love Beach will do the trick perfectly. It’s a sexy M.F. earworm. It’s a funky Prince and Stevie Wonder celebration with a guest spot for the Bee Gees nightingales. Get the sonic picture?

Let’s dress up and get ready to go. Right here. Right now.…Don’t stop the music yet. Love Beach is the opening track of The Wavos new EP Five On The Floor!


Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

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.

THE LATEST MUSIC FROM THE WAVOS” - Bill Realman Stella, 6/11/14

Out in Jersey

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 produced 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 Wavo. The 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.