Reviews: Wait, “Higher and Dry” and Tuesday Morning Wrestling, “Cuts a Promo” (Bangor)

wait bangor

Wait, a five-piece post-rock band based in Bangor, has done very little of what the name of their band suggests. The band, comprised of Travis Davis, Mathias Hillborn, Chris Mathews, Justin Kovacs and Dan Dawson, has only been together for about a year, and just this past spring recorded “Higher & Dry,” their debut album, on their own, and released it just a few weeks later. There’s no waiting here.

I think it’s the music itself that gives the name Wait its meaning: nothing on this album is fast-paced or anxious. “Higher & Dry” mines the same sonic territory as other post-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky or Joan of Arc — dense, multi-layered, guitar-heavy music with expansive melodies. Where Wait departs from this, however, are with the elements of pop and emo that creep into a turn of phrase here, a chord structure there, and especially in the vocals, which feature a restrained, almost gentle approach that belie the loudness of the rest of the music, strangely reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie. Everything unfolds here in a leisurely fashion, from opening track “Shadows” to the epic twin centerpiece of the album, “Higher & Dry” and “Could.” The standout track, for me, is “Mountains,” an engaging, dynamic seven minutes that showcase just where this band could be headed. Judging by how quickly they’ve worked so far, the future holds a lot of promise.

cuts a promo wrestling

Another Bangor band that also works quickly — extremely quickly, judging by the 18 tracks included on its new album, its second so far this year — is Tuesday Morning Wrestling. Now, before I say anything else, let me make sure you know that this album, “Cuts a Promo,” is explicitly billed by the band as 18 tracks about professional wrestling and celebrity trials and tribulations. Though Tuesday Morning Wrestling has in the past been a loud punk/hardcore band, this album is pretty much just acoustic guitars, hand percussion and singalong vocals. There’s no hand-wringing seriousness or emotional truths revealed here. It’s ridiculous, it’s snotty and cynical, and it’s hilarious. Do you like the Dead Milkmen, or early Black Flag, or NOFX, but wish they were acoustic bands? “Cuts a Promo” is for you. No celebrity or sacred cow is spared: all are equally a target for jokes, whether the famous person in question is beloved or hated or somewhere in between. You’ll find something to be offended by, most likely, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Wait will play Aug. 12 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Aug. 20 at the Blackfly Ball at the Machias Grange in Machias, and Aug. 21 at the Central Gallery in Bangor. Like Tuesday Morning Wrestling on Facebook for more information on upcoming shows.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.