Published Sep 11, 2019Emo alt-rockers Microwave are having their heavy moment with their third album, Death Is A Warm Blanket. The band haven't strayed too far from the melody-driven material of their first two LPs and numerous EPs, but the new album frequently pushes into burly grunge rock that's heavier than anything they've done before.
Melodic guitar work is still very present on the record, but the band's focus on fuzzed-out grunge, like the heavier side of Nirvana or the gritty tones of Alice in Chains, is where they really stand out. Songs like "Float to the Top" or "DIAWB" are drastically different from the light rock of their early records, without losing touch of what the band sound like. Sure, there's plenty of moments where they still come across like the Wonder Years or the Story So Far, but feedback-induced heavy breaks set them apart this time.
The band's vocals also show a drastic heavy shift with "The Brakeman Has Resigned" and "Leather Daddy" having some near-hardcore styled vocal lines, alongside melodic singing. Ultimately though, this album is about balance, as none of the tracks seem to ever touch too far into any side of their musical spectrum, but rather find a middle ground.
If you thought of Microwave as just another emocore band until now, Death Is a Warm Blanket should change your mind. The record feels like a big shift in their direction that they hopefully continue to explore on future releases. (Pure Noise)