Be Water is a three-piece band from Galloway, NJ that has more power and energy than most 12-piece ensembles. This post-rock instrumental collective plays a lot of standard soft loud dynamics that these types of acts rely on. With that being said the group does this extremely well. The album is filled with incredible highs; stellar production (courtesy of Ross Viviano) and a visceral output of emotion that is rarely reached within post-rock successfully. Not only do they have a knack for understanding where the emotional center should be in an album but they also all have the technical ability to boot. The instrumental work (especially the drums) will not only illicit an emotional reaction from most listeners but the technical ability displayed is something that will impress people who like to scrutinize what is actually being played. The EP has four songs that last a little over 30 minutes and contains somewhat epic songs (besides the second track which is a sparse piano track).
The first song we are treated with is “A Stampede” which starts with a clean guitar picking a serene melody that lies next to swelling pads of noise and the softly stroked sound of cymbals. Before you know it the band is playing in conjunction and feels more like a classical composition rather than a standard rock band. The sound becomes heavier as guitars gain distortion and drums are hit harder. I was happy that instead of simply going from soft to loud they decided to make it a bit more interesting by creating a 5-part song. The song soars hitting its most grand of moments within the last couple of minutes. Distortion then fades into a short piano piece called “You Weren’t There” that lasts three minutes and is absolutely gorgeous. It sounds like it was recorded in an old attic during World War 2 and reeks from melancholy and nostalgia in the most awesome of ways. “Catharsis” begins with swells of sound that feel like a distant memory. The band starts off slowly as notes are sometimes hit on the guitar and cymbals are randomly struck before they come together for resolve. As the song picks up we hear some fantastic drum work that drives the song. The band is at their heaviest at the end of this one creating waves of white noise and distortion.
The last song on the album is a collage of sounds and ambience reminiscent of a song like "Murray Ostril (They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach)” by Godspeed You! bBlack Emperor. The song doesn't get heavier but instead becomes more atmospheric and crowded. Be Water is a new band that has made a great EP that I hope merely shows a glimpse of what these gentlemen can accomplish on their full length.
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