(Teen Sleuth) Athens/Atlanta band Fake Flowers’ Wonder Wave is a striking sampler of sparkling, echo-heavy pop, a reverent prayer to Ride, The House of Love and Pale Saints. There have been many recent variations of this tender-hearted jangle, but these guys are more bright-eyed and lively than most.
The radiant “7th Star” comes in with a soft growl, jangles with a Johnny Marr-like riff and shimmers with some subtle string-bending. Even more impressive is "Don’t Cry Kiddo: Spectacle Surreal," which cascades down a wall of pure light and Pet Sounds melody, swirls of sitar smearing fabulously into the mix.
The whole EP doesn’t quite resonate with such glory; the fuzzed-out “Valerie” sounds like it was ripped straight from Psychocandy and lacks the otherworldly vitality of the other tracks. But then a playful, Byrds-y jangle and cheery synths usher in the closer, “Summer Crashes In,” and the sun comes out again. One hears the wide-eyed wonder in the band members’ voices, and wants to frolic with them, wherever they are.
Wonder Wave is a heavenly yet too-brief taste of what Fake Flowers has to offer; here’s hoping they can commit to a full-length in the not-too-distant future.