Waves by Four Star Riot
This is certainly one of the more interesting melodies in today’s rock and roll world. The melodies in this song do just enough to sound unique yet do not become overly complicated so that it is still accessible to a modern audience. This song is a good example of the typical verse-chorus form, and they are easily discernible by their use of melodies. The verses do not have much melodic build or convincing line; they give way to other musical elements. However, the chorus has a wonderful melodic hook that makes the listener want to hear it over and over again. This song goes to show you that sometimes a simple “ooh” can suffice for lyrics, as long as the melody is intriguing. A very well-crafted chorus, but the verses leave something to be desired.
It is essentially the same three chords throughout the song (Am, C, Em), which could spell doom for some songs. However, this group combines the rather motoric bass line with added tones and unexpected chords (using the harmonic root) on top of them as the song progresses. This is a wonderfully creative way to create as song based on three notes. A fourth chord, G, is added occasionally and keeps the pattern from being dull. This song is clearly in E minor, and there is not much variety to surround it. The other two chords along with Em are very closely related to it with many their notes being similar, so it can sound like a whitewash of Em at times. There could have been more of a harmonic separation from the tonic, but there were many creative ideas here nonetheless.
The best thing about the timbre of this song was the use of the guitar. It started out very much in the background solidifying the chords, but then it emerges by the second verse and becomes more active, which not only helps the piece move along but gives the ear something new to listen to. The guitar part worked with the harmony incredibly well, and its changes from solo passages to accompaniment gave a cool groove to the music. The rest of the band was solid. Nothing besides the guitar stood out as being necessarily effective for the piece, but there was nothing wrong with being the traditional pieces of a rock band. What could really amp up the style of this band is one or two more sounds such as a keyboard or other percussion besides the set. Maybe even pre-recorded sounds? There is a whole world of sound out there ready to be captured.
From what I have noticed, Four Star Riot does an incredible job at promoting themselves. There are countless bands out there, and sometimes the difference is simply who you reach out to and how many people know you. It seems like this band knows who their audience is and how to get them to listen, which will only help their influence. This song may not have made many “waves” yet, but I suspect it will once the album drops this summer. It was an honor to be able to write about such a group, I hope they continue to make more cool music.
Final Score: 117/180