"Contagion Heuristic"

(Crucial Blast 2006)Microwaves - Contagion Heuristic

For far too long the punk rockers have gotten the short end of the stick. Many of them have been looked down upon for their songs based on three chords that were repeated over and over. They were and are criticized for taking that same structure, that same sound and creating derivates to fill their albums. Now comes Pittsburgh metal band Microwaves. Weaving a squeaking, blaring ambulance siren-like riff throughout many of their songs, Microwaves let you know that not only are they here to rock but you are going to remember them.

Like a slap in the face, Microwaves come tearing in with "Thumbs Down, Lambpit" as the siren jumps and twitches while the song speeds by with reckless abandon before making a similar appearance in "MK" amongst the borderline industrial sounding guitars grinding and churning out a gritty melody. A stamping beat and squeaking riff ushers "Song X" to your attention before the band change gears, making the song sound as though it is being sucked backwards into a vacuum. Elsewhere on "Contagion Heuristic," Microwaves show more restraint and patience. The slow droning "Codex Vertex" buzzes and pulses lightly. "Executive Indecision" takes a more traditional song structure as drums punctuate the up and down melody.

It seems somehow appropriate that a band that shares its name with a device that revolutionized 80s eating habits also show obvious influences of a band from the 80s, primarily The Melvins. While "Contagion Heuristic" might not always sound the most original, it delivers focused tracks. They might label themselves avant trash but Microwaves are, quite simply, a metal band that are willing to take some chances.


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