For Fans Of
Before we begin this review let’s make it clear that this band is fucking hard to find on social media. Do you know how many other bands, theme parks and people have the word water or waters in their name? The answer is (to no one’s surprise) an imperial shit ton. So if you heard one track and liked it, you’ll have to have really loved it to go and find more info on this band. But the fact that this band just released an absolute ripper of an indie album is worth all the scrolling and then some.
Opening with the infectious, ‘Got to My Head’, ‘What’s Real’ is one anthem away from being the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Every song from the word go is crammed with huge swelling choruses and pounding percussion that sets WATERS light years in front of other bands attempting this same alternative rock, indie soundscape.
One need only look at ‘Moms and Dads’ to see that this quintet of guys and girl are at their very core great songwriters. The melodies always feel complete; starting and ending with the perfect sequence of notes that round off the progressions smoothly; a factor most artists tend to ignore all together.
WATERS have a plenty of indie cred (c’mon, they toured with Tegan and Sara!) so they cash out on this factor and infuse a few pop-sensibilities with the title track, making for beautiful a synth laden track that’s rough around the edges enough to entice just about every single kind of hipster out there. ‘Stupid Games’ brings the synth back in after the acoustic break of ‘In My Room’ for another round of indie-pop goodness. The track sounds so much like Bleachers (Jack Antonoff of fun.) that you will be watering at the mouth for a joint tour of the indie masters.
Yet the ride has only just begun! ‘Breakdown’ returns the band to that edgy indie vibe you loved at the start of the record and spends its final minute on a chorus that is just as emotive as it is catchy. The best the band gives comes on track number nine with ‘Get Over It’. It’s fun, it’s huge, it’s powerful, (it’s not a dick) and simply awesome. This is the kind of song you see on those commercials channels have for all their running shows. The ones that just about everyone will love because it encapsulates the exact reason why we love music: its power to move us both physically and emotionally.
Okay, moving on from that dip into the emotional world of music journalism…the one issue with ‘What’s Real’ is that it kind of ends halfheartedly. The stellar track of ‘Get Over It’ makes the final two ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Green Eyes’ feel lackluster and almost boring. Though it’s easy to enjoy ‘Green Eyes’ due to its major key progressions that falls much more in line with the record’s tone, it still doesn’t quite round the record off the way it deserves.
WATERS blend that crazily addictive brand of radio rock with heart-on-sleeve-indie vibes to create something truly special. It all feels well balanced and ever so slightly unproduced to give it that home-brand indie feel that all the kids are dying for. There’s so many things to love about ‘What’s Real’ that the best way to describe is to not describe it at all; it’s to just simply listen to it.
01. Got to My Head
02. I Feel Everything
03. Mom and Dads
04. The Avenue
05. What’s Real
06. Inside My Room
07. Stupid Games
09. Over It
10. Rebel Yell
11. Green Eyes