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Waterbodies – The Evil We Know album review

Waterbodies’ first LP, The Evil We Know, is a self-described musical battleground. And, with lines like “You’ll be pushing up daisies/Swimming with the Fishes/You don’t want to see my bad side” or “If you are the leader, I prefer not to follow” it doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that the Ontario-based group’s musical sensibilities run a little darker than fellow rockers.

One doesn’t have to go much further past the opening track and first single, “How to Burn a Bridge,” to get a feel for what direction the Waterbodies are flowing. It kicks in with a what seems to be their hallmark of two screaming guitars, thumping drums all underlined by solid bass. A few seconds in, Mike McGreen’s vocals enter and hover above the raucous sound. This interplay between the vocals and sounds clashes together in a screaming chorus. McGreen’s register is in same neighborhood as Andy Wood and Layne Stanley. Furthermore, much of the energy contained in The Evil We Know owes its spark to those alt-rock gods: Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone.

“Deadweight” flows at a slightly different clip than other tracks. Bassist Johnny Neadow has an opportunity to show off pretty crunchy bass licks throughout. But, as the songs moves along to another one of Waterbodies shout-along choruses the music takes a clumsy trip uptempo. The song ends up a little scattered but does show a little more versatility than some of the other tracks.

The Evil We Know does abound with energy. The opening track wraps up in just 2:20 and doesn’t feel like it’s cut off. The songs grow, more or less exponentially, in length to culminate with the final slow song, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” that comes in at 7:00. While the songs grow in length, most of the 11 tracks find the four-piece band trending much of the same water. The band’s press release describes the album as having a “seamless flow,” which may be misconstrued as continuously monotonous songs following roughly the same arc.

By Travis Scott

Travis Scott lives in Chicago where he writes about music and dances about architecture.

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