The Strangest Things

Every so often, someone writes that same tired obituary. “Rock is dead,” they type as a pretext to pronouncing the next big thing—calypso, electronica, perhaps Mouseketeer hegemony. Typically, what follows next is a scene from a Transylvanian graveyard, as guitar-slinging Nosferati clamber out of their crypts to jack into amplifiers. Lately, that graveyard has given us the Strokes, the White Stripes, Interpol and, now, Longwave. Coming on like a leaner, more elegant Mercury Rev stiffened by the guitar architectures of Interpol, this New York quartet retools late-1970s and early-1980s sounds, from the Smiths and Television to Ultravox, into something new, shiny and throbbing. “Wake Me When It’s Over” and “Pool Song” will haunt you for days, and singer Steve Schiltz sounds uncannily like local boy John McCrea.