Exclusive Album Premiere: WAWAWOW – Pink Elephant (2020)

We are super pumped to be premiering the debut album Pink Elephant from Sydney psych-rock group WAWAWOW.  These lads clearly don’t do things by halves, with their debut album being a 13-track wonder, packed with some epic grooves, lashings of humour, deft guitars and hypnotic rhythms. Their crafty musicianship brings this album back from the precipice time and time again. I can’t wait to see these guys live – I want to see them ripping at a festival – it will be wild. In a sonic landscape which can sometimes appear way too beige, these lads are anything but.

The lead single “The Big Cookoff” was released in January, with the album being produced and recorded in Sydney by Dane Burge and mastered by Streaky. I suspect that fans of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are going to get their rocks off on this album.

We’re stoked that WAWAWOW has also provided a Track by Track breakdown for the album.  Dust off your lava lamps, get your groove on and crank this up LOUD.

Track by Track …

Pink

This is our cheesy, bombastic opener. It’s like we really wanted to have a “welcome to the show!” track to start off with, but also to have that Australian feel in the beginning. So we used the sounds of kookaburras at dusk in country Victoria, and let the cicadas fill out the frequencies.

Elephant Bird

Originated from a track our drummer Shaun did for his podcast but has turned into something quite different. It’s based off this weird documentary we found that gets all these facts wrong and doesn’t stay focused, but there’s zero information about it online. There’s something amazing about the narrator’s voice, and his weirdly poetic phrasing, yet who he is and where the documentary is from remains a mystery.

Girls

We remixed a recording of Wade yelling into his phone in the car for a different song, and threw these weird lines over the chorus. That’s the only explanation for vocals in the chorus “Been around the world, telling all these girls what I do.” The chorus and verse are really different feels, and they’re pretty much two different songs. Come to think of it, most of our songs are two songs mashed together.

Yesterday

First moment we jammed the chorus we knew this was something special. It turned into this giant 10 minute behemoth, but we kept that for the live show and trimmed it down here instead. Regarding the sample of British parliament, we just thought the phrasing of “ayes to the right, nos to the left” could easily be misheard as instructions for making your face dance. Which was certainly our main goal for the song.

The Pot

Borne out of live jams to connect songs, this one was literally made up on the spot but worked perfectly in this take. The narration in this, being about Sydney, hit close to home and the words just seem to pierce harder.

The Big Cookoff

Once we heard that The Presets had a bunch of leftover unused phrases and lyrics, and threw them all into Yippiyo-Ay. The Big Cookoff was that for us, but with riffs. Throw every musical morsel in and have a big cookoff. On top of that, the track literally begins with a mistake.

Green Man

This was another song drawn out from the podcast, originally placed after Novak from Polish Club said “all your heroes are dirtbags.” There’s something about the arrogance of Richard Nixon’s speech here that is so charmingly awful, it kind of grips your attention. The second half is layered with audio recorded of Wade waiting to cross a busy road. That’s kind of our intermission, with the sound of the red man waiting to become the green man.

Vanilda

Vanilda is about half the speed of every other song on the album, and it’s like a wonky angel choir motorbike. It went through a lot of changes, and you can hear layers and moments that hint to other ways it was interpreted. Our producer Dane had some great ideas on this one, and it’s turned into this kind of screwball heaven thing.

Margaret Snowpants

Literally a jam that didn’t work. Shaun kept trying to find the beats, but the rest of the band was slightly off from each other, and nothing made sense. I don’t know why we found it so funny, but it just summed the worst of our musicianship up so well.

Rat Porridge

This one is our homage to Electric Light Orchestra, where we tried to make it as weirdly cheesy as possible. It kind of forms the progression of the rest of the album with the organ chords. A little pop relief was probably due by this point in the album.

Well, These Shoes Aren’t Gonna Take Themselves Off

This was another jam that continued after making a take of Rat Porridge, where we just kept going. It’s almost unaltered from that one key jam, and the guitar and drums remain intact. Features some recordings of Sydney airport, the ocean, and just kind of white noise to add to this kind of surfy lullaby sound.

Pinwheel

A jam we did once and were never able to replicate it. Something about the way the guitars fought against each other just worked in a weird way that we felt it had a place. It’s all square and triangles, like a soviet cartoon.

Elephant

This one squeals and wails and whines, in a good way. The first half of this song was a failed attempt to recreate Pinwheel, without properly learning it. It’s got pieces of the rest of the album littered throughout, and some of our most ridiculous guitar moments, and the sounds of Paris on New Year’s Eve, so we felt it was a fitting end.

Pink Elephant will be released on Friday, 14th February.

WAWAWOW have an album launch show at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown, on Saturday 22nd February, supported by Pyjama Sundayz, and Cakewalk

You can keep up to date with WAWAWOW  via their Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Bandcamp.

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker

Tags: ,