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Friday, Jan. 28, Peabody Waldorf Gallery

Slowwave / photography by Chloe Scheffe at

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What a difference a mix makes.

I bought Drag Lake Sin, the new EP by Tacoma outfit Slowwave, upon its release Tuesday. Five dollars for six tracks, and man, they are good ones. There is a layering and nuance to the instrumentation and production of each track that is rare in a lot of local music. There's a lot of noise, and a lot of what Rev. Adam McKinney describes as "haze." But it is a deliberate, structured and penetrating haze.

The thing about live sound is this: layering and nuance are extremely hard to do. This is true of most any venue not explicitly designed for music, but particularly so in a somewhat cavernous space such as the double-decker Peabody Waldorf Gallery - where the band played Friday night.

The intricacies of Slowwave's material echoed back on themselves as they reverberated off the walls, creating a muddle of sound - not a horrid mess by any means. Having spent most of the last week listening to Drag Lake Sin on a loop, my brain was preemptively conditioned to pick out the subtleties in the haze. But by and large the noise overpowered the music.

As I sat down to write this, I cranked up the EP on my speakers, and my girlfriend turned almost immediately and said, "This is really good. Who is this?"

My reply was simply, "I told you you'd like the record better than you liked the show."

So what I'm saying is this: If you were at the release show Friday, and you loved it, great. Go buy the record - it's better.

And anyone who was there and didn't care for it? Go buy the record - it's better.
Also I think my girlfriend was disconcerted by the number of stocking caps and skinny jeans surrounding us all night. But that's her own problem.

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