Album Review: ∆ - An Awesome Wave

21 May 2012 | 6:08 pm | Simon Rundin

"While they are good, you get the feeling they are definitely only hinting here at what they’re capable of."

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English quartet ∆ are a strange band, although that is to be expected of an act named after an unpronounceable symbol (their name is the delta sign - “alt-J” are the keys required to make this symbol on some computers). The band describes themselves as “folk-step”, and while their sound is definitely original, it leans much more to the folky side of things.

An Awesome Wave, the band's debut album, gets off to a chilled start with the aptly-named opener Intro and it's follow-up, the chanty a capella Interlude 1. Things stay chilled for the rest of the album. Two of the best tracks on An Awesome Wave are Tessellate and the catchy-but-repetitive Breezeblocks. The upbeat Dissolve Me is an another highlight, as is the relatively 'heavier' Fitzpleasure. However, the album suffers from its length and fairly monotonous style. By the end of the 41 minutes playing time, listeners can feel exasperated. ∆ would have done themselves a favour by cutting a couple of songs off the record – it is a little too long to listen to in one stretch. Additionally, most of the songs in the second half of the album could have done with one less verse – the band seems keen to keep the songs running a little longer than they should.

All-in-all, this is a good debut record. It will be great to hear what ∆ comes up with on their next release – while they are good, you get the feeling they are definitely only hinting here at what they're capable of. If you get the chance, check out the cover art for this record – the origami-inspired CD case alone will blow your mind.