Jeff Jagielo has been a creative force on the Madison music scene since he formed Ivory Library back in the 1980s. Starting in 2006, Jagielo's musical outlet has been Squarewave, a rock trio he formed with ex-Ivory Library guitarist Pat Connaughty and drummer Brandon Smith.
This is the third release for Squarewave. The first two were among my top 10 local discs of 2006 and 2007. At their best, Squarewave make emotionally potent psychedelic rock. Songs like "A Name That Isn't Mine," from their 2006 debut, brood with overwhelming force. A haunting mood saturates their songs. The vibe is reminiscent of Echo & the Bunnymen classics like "The Killing Moon."
This time out, Squarewave doesn't pack the same punch. Throwing Stones takes a delicate, atmospheric pop turn. The results are initially good. The opening title track steams ahead on a soaring guitar riff.
From there, too many songs brood without psychedelic energy. Tracks like "Point to Reach" are down-tempo compositions too oblique to spark emotion. And too often, the vocals hide timidly behind the music.
There are solid efforts to be found amid the 15 tracks - like the lush pop song "Certain." With more editing, Throwing Stones might have made a compelling EP.