Formed in the early fall of 2012 Watershed Drag just released their sophomore album entitled Radiations which mixes elements of metal, 80’s glam rock and even math rock. The songs here are a mixed bag that sound like they are a bit out of time. The recording and sounds felt misplaced almost like I was listening to a Yes album at times. Guitars are the primary instrument on most of these songs but there are also a lot of synths present as well. The EP consists of five songs that all hit around the five minute mark and create a pretty decent flow listening to the album all the way through. Overall, the songs mostly fall into a favorable category songwriting-wise and often excel because of the technical ability of the players. The lead guitar playing is technically proficient and the metronome timing of the drums is spot on. I enjoyed Amy Fehrenbach’s vocals which had a distinct 80’s diva feel to them and sounded absolutely appropriate for the music that was being played.
The album opener “Wolves” can’t sound much more retro. The bass sprawls as layers of vintage synths permeate the air leaving plenty of room for the vocals. It isn’t until about the two minute mark that we hear a shredding lead guitar and the intensity of the song raises a couple of levels. “Skyward’ abandons any discretion and starts with an onslaught of heavy metal riffs and airy synths that stop on a dime before a delicate piano riff begins to accompany Fehrenbach’s vocals. The catchiest and best performance by Fehrenbach was “The Ghost Of Winterfell.” That being said this was also the song that contained the most genre hopping. I have to say I was a bit taken back when I heard something that could be considered death metal change almost instantly to progressive 80’s glam rock. Perhaps the finest moment of the entire album is the last minute of “Affectation” which sounds like a powerful rock opera.
The album takes inspiration from a number of different genres and while does it not completely succeed at melding them together at times showcases talented musicians, good songwriting and a solid attempt to meld a number of different genres
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