Fortified –  Wav Legion (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Books and covers eh? Looking at the band name it would be easy to think that you are about to encounter something a bit synthy, a bit dancey, a bit electronic and experimental. After all I did. But as Fortified emanates from the speakers you realise that it isn’t that at all. In fact it is the opposite of that. A voice and a guitar, as old school and analog as you can get. The former is an imploring and entrancing delivery from Bonnie Legion, the latter deft and delicately picked acoustics from wav-Dr….hence the name, I guess it was either that or Dr Bonnie!

Any embellishments and additions come from some subtle and supple layering, extra vocal harmonies and lush guitar intricacies but essentially you have a song which is going to sound pretty much the same played live as it does on the recording. And there aren’t many acts who can claim that these days.

If there is a third instrument it is space. Space is something that can only be utilised by those who know how self-edit well enough to leave room for it to do its thing, who know how to conjure it from gaps in the music, who can manipulate it’s negative space into a positive sound, and that is exactly what Wav Legion does here.

You hear it in the briefest of cracks between the picked notes, in the fad outs and pauses for breath between the words. In fact it is so important to the song that once you notice the use of space you realise that the words and the music are merely frameworks, sonic lines which merely sit on the border between sound and silence and the song is all the more powerful for it.

Whereas some bands are happy to throw everything including the kitchen sink into a recording…not to mention a complete studio and half a music shop, others are clever enough to understand that a song should only include just enough to make its point. And that is what is happening here. As clever as the music they make is, it is the use of that space which shows just how switched on they really are.

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