The quality of offerings hinted at in each of The Wave Pictures’ previous albums was finally attained in their last album Instant Coffee Baby. It was well-rounded and ram-packed full of handclaps, catchy guitar riffs and the distinctive vocals of lead singer David Tattersall. If You Leave It Alone once again exemplifies all the skill and wit of a band that are surely on the verge of a breakthrough.
The marriage of Tattersall’s heart-on-sleeve lyrics with the snappy guitar and plodding bass provide a soundtrack to what should be a blistering summer. ‘Bye Bye Bumble Belly’, with its sax and handclaps is a perfect example of this. The Wave Pictures, however, provide more than just a sound of summer. They provide a heartfelt and witty retort against lost-love and broken connections, aided by the sincerity of Tattersall’s vocals.
The Wave Picture’s apparent obsession with food continues in If You Leave It Alone. They previously sang of marmalade sculptures, this time round they’re writing names on banana peels and more. It certainly adds charm and an air of innocence to the lyrics, but they must be careful not to turn it into a gimmick. ‘Bumble Bee’ and ‘Tiny Craters in the Sand’ are after all the most enjoyable songs on the album and they don’t reference the food-groups once.
Tattersall, the star of the album, displays Morrissey’s turn-of-phrase and The Cat Empire’s light-heartedness. He is however crossing a fine line between charisma and gimmickry. If You Leave It Alone is the perfect summer album, but risks being good for that alone and The Wave Pictures certainly have much more to give than that.
Words: Jonathan Wilson