Caustic Waves is the name of the latest musical project by Neil Thomas. Neil describes himself as Software Engineer by day, music producer by night (once the kids are asleep). His latest single, Invisible Enemy, came out in April 2022 and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Invisible Enemy starts strongly with a quick drum fill and then straight in with punchy drums, heavily distorted guitars and lead vocals immediately. There’s no gentle easing into this song, it hits you in the feels right from the get go. Even the addition of harmony vocals by the second vocal line let you know the Neil Thomas has something he really has to get off his chest for his listeners.
Lyrically about the uncertainty of the past couple of years and the fear that everyone was struggling with at the very start of the pandemic, Invisible Enemy is a powerful rock song that speaks of desperation in fearful times.
The vocals are clear and up front. There’s no muddiness or guessing what he has to say. The message is too important for that. We like the lyrics in the first chorus;
“Living in a time of uncertainty, when will we return to normality
separate and stay inside but remember you’re still free
We’ll see you on the other side when all of this turns into distant memories”
They speak of fear and hope for a brighter future. Pretty much how everyone was feeling back in March 2020.
With a driving bassline and really punchy drums, Invisible Enemy hits hard. A kind of alt rock/ grunge feel to the song that in many places in both the instrumentation and the lead vocals we were reminded of Placebo’s song, Nancy Boy.
The lead vocals are slightly metallic in tone, with a good use of twang in places. The high notes and control are something else! The musicianship is high quality and every line is delivered with class and conviction. A great drum heavy breakdown at around 3m40s changes things up a little for the listener before we return to the punishing power of the main song.
Thomas mentions in his biography that he’s been studying production a great deal recently. It shows. We might personally suggest a small boost of the top 3 octaves for clarity and brightness as well as a boost around 4kHz to give some extra edge to the guitars. Because the timbre of the vocals is so metallic and twang-like, it might be an idea to boost the overall track around 400Hz. To us, it just feels slightly hollow in that area. A gentle boost will give more fullness and warmth in the guitars and balance out the sound a little more.
At almost 5 minutes, this may not be a candidate for commercial air play (those music directors can be so picky!) It is nonetheless an important song which, although there have been probably millions of Covid inspired songs, has plenty to say in a whole new and highly enjoyable way.
Caustic Waves latest single, Invisible Enemy, is a strong and powerful rock/ grunge song with a catchy chorus, an important message and some superb musicianship. We look forward to hearing what Thomas produces next!