Onlap – Waves Review

Waves Review: Onlap Blends Influences to Create a Unique Rock Sound...

AFM Records

Release: 14 June 2024

 

 

Tracklist:

01. Fever
02. Hypnotized
03. Never Ending Winter
04. Who Killed the Plan?
05. Ghosts (feat. Lansdowne)
06. Never Too Late (feat. Kiiara)
07. Nevermind
08. Afterglow
09. Crawling in the Dark
10. Ready For War
11. Ghosts (Reimagined)
12. Never Too Late (Reimagined)

 

Onlap is an alternative rock group originating from Paris, France. The band consists of Pierre on guitar and backing vocals, Franck on bass, Florian on guitar, Guillaume on vocals and guitar, and Andrea on drums. Their music is distinctly influenced by 2000s rock and metal, a trait that is evident in the tracks on this release. To date, most of their work has been self-released, beginning with their debut album A Leap in the Dark in May 2009, three years after their formation. They have subsequently released several EPs and albums, including The Awakening in 2012 and Onlap Goes Nightcore versions 1, 2, and 3 in 2016, 2017, and 2020, respectively.

The album Waves marks their first full release since signing with AFM Records. It comprises ten songs plus two additional reworkings of other tracks. The album is exceptionally varied, with each song clearly influenced by different artists. In their YouTube channel description, the group cites several musicians who inspire them, including Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Story of the Year, and Skillet. Track 5, “Ghosts,” bears a strong resemblance to the song “Gravity” by Papa Roach, even incorporating the title in its lyrics. The minimally backed vocal introduction also pays homage to the Papa Roach song. In stark contrast, track 6, “Never Too Late,” could fit seamlessly into The Greatest Showman soundtrack. This ballad-styled track, a collaboration with Kiiara, deviates from the album’s predominant nu-metal stylings. The contrast between the male and female vocals is effective, and I can easily imagine an audience swaying with phone torches at a concert.

“Hypnotized” is a more traditional rock track, highlighted by a guitar solo reminiscent of 90s Japanese RPG computer games. Following this, the record transitions into the Skillet-inspired “Never Ending Winter.” This track employs dramatic pauses and guitar to enhance the listening experience. The introduction of “Who Killed the Plan” evokes the style of an early Black Veil Brides EP, particularly with its use of backing vocals before incorporating heavier elements. “Nevermind” begins with a heavier sound than the other tracks before shifting into a more anthemic melody.

In summary, this eclectic release clearly draws from the band’s influences, with each track distinct in its musical style. On first listen, the album does not conform to a single sub-genre, but the individual tracks are enjoyable and many are likely to be added to my playlist. The variety in vocal work between songs keeps the listener engaged. This album is well worth the time investment, and I will definitely seek to attend a live performance if they tour in my area.

 

Score: 7/10

Reviewed by: Dave Martin

 

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