Friday, 26 February 2016

Water Liars-Water Liars

Water Liars a three piece hailing from Mississippi harness the ragged edges of rock and roll creating a raw cavernous soundscape that has a distinctive lo fi presence. Looking for a connection I immediately think of the brillant Fading Trails album from Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Company, it has that same essence of something small but growing beyond it's boundaries to take on another dimension. Lyrically it has that similar feel of desolation and displacement but with a certain graceful sentimentality that gives the album a shade of light.

Cannibal takes on a carnal attitude to relationships, the idea that in something beautiful we find the need to destroy it. We find the need to own it, to abuse it and not appreciate the beauty of it, it's a theme that goes beyond love to our somewhat precarious entaglement with our planet.

When you tatse the flesh of the one that you love
Do you feel like a cannibal, like an animal
Just like a flood
And are you made like a vampire
A walking appetite to destroy

War Paint has a weary sense of resignation, a life where you bet on red but black wins, trading your love and heart for anything else. It sounds a little like Gene Clark from the early 70's vocalist Justin Kinkel-Schuster has a distinctive voice similar to that of the former Byrds vocalist. Swannanoa has a restrained feel and sounds a little like the Felice Brothers, it's a dark tale of addiction, loss and displacement. There is a deep beauty to this song and it shows the maturity in the bands songwriting, never maudlin only wistful and melancholy.

I woke up in Houston in somebody's kitchen
The ceiling was sweating
And I was afloat on a dirty brown river
Of heroin shivers.
So I went down to Tampa
To find me an answer
But it wasn't coming
And neither was she.

Ray Charles' Dream sounds like New York circa 1979, loud brash but with a hint of the past deeply embedded.

Let It Breathe shows some Big Star influences and when it comes to matters of the heart it's the most endearing and optimistic of the songs on the album. It's the contrast of light, where the healing and hope of love is bought into focus.

There's a room inside my heart that no one ever goes
It's been boarded up and locked for years and everything is gone
Then you come along and cut yourself a key
Swept the floors and opened a window and said baby let it breathe.

 Water Liars is an album that drags you deep into it's embrace from the first listen, raw beauty amidst desolation and frustration lyrically concise never drifting towards banal sentimentality. Musically diverse capturing the sparse open spaces of bands like Magnolia Electric Company, early Wilco and the ethereal Gene Clark.

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