In our Spring 2020 Issue we launched a new music feature, Emerging. If you’ve been wondering what to listen to lately or perused Spotify and social media searching for the next emerging band that would restore your faith in The State of Music, this new feature is for you. We checked in with a few of the bands we think have a unique voice in the musical landscape to inspire a new generation of concert-goers and record-buyers alike. Our first lineup includes Totenwald, The Wraith, OVER, and Rotten UK. In this Auxiliary Online Content you’ll find more background and photos on each band, this time we are focusing on The Wraith.
by : Elizabeth Rhodes
photos by : Michelle Shiers, Michael David, and Michael Thorn
Davey Bales : Vocals
Kaz Alvis : Guitar
Paul Rogers : Bass
Anatolii Lövochkin : Drums
Releasing their first EP Shadow Flag in 2017, The Wraith immediately appeals to anyone with a love for 80s tinged punk and gothic overtones in lyrics. Their first full-length release Gloom Ballet arrived in 2019 and received overall positive reviews. A highlight for The Wraith was their performance at the show celebrating Mikey Bean’s Phantoms: The Rise of Deathrock from the LA Punk Scene. The entire show was a sampling of Los Angeles’ notable deathrock bands from the past with The Wraith being the young guns on the bill. They did not disappoint!
Frontman Davey Bales’ voice (formerly associated with Lost Tribe, also a great band) has been compared to Samhain-era Glenn Danzig but I hear more of a connection to the fury and richness of Kenny “Stinker” Gordon’s voice from the absolutely essential punk band Pure Hell, the first punk band comprised of all black members. It’s this powerful vocal performance along with the current lineup of The Wraith that makes it all click into place for a sound that has the gloomy essence of cherished postpunk bands with a confrontational frontman delivering poetic lyrics.
We interviewed The Wraith for our Spring 2020 Issue and they provided some background on the band.
When did the band get started and what was the original intention of the band?
The Wraith : The Wraith was started in late 2016 in Los Angeles. We were writing a lot and recording demos. We released our first EP Shadow Flag in January 2017. The intention of the band was to play 80s inspired dark punk, post punk, etc. We wanted a style that infused the heavy drum sound of Killing Joke but with melodic guitar tone of The Chameleons.
Tell us more about your name. How does it communicate the sound or vibe of the band?
TW : We were throwing names back and forth for a while until we finally agreed on The Wraith. I believe it’s of Scottish origin. It basically means a ghost or apparition. It’s kind of a dark word so we felt that fit the tone of the band well.
How would you describe your music to someone who has not yet checked you out?
TW : I’d say it’s dark punk, post punk, or deathrock. We incorporate things like synths and lots of goth style guitar tones into our sound but still are a heavy guitar based band.
Read more of this interview in the Spring 2020 Issue.
Here’s their music video for “Wing of Night” off 2019’s Gloom Ballet as a good starting point.
Vocalist Davey Bales also writes poetry and has a self-published zine called Dead Flowers.
Here’s an excerpt of the zine, as seen at the Dead Flowers zine Instagram.
For a bit more, check out the killer playlist The Wraith curated on their Spotify page!
Check out the interview with The Wraith in the Spring 2020 Issue. Davey Bales’ poetry and The Wraith’s music and merch can be found on the their Bandcamp Page. The Wraith is on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. To read more about bands we cover for this feature, check out all our Emerging Interviews.