Water and Bodies - Water and Bodies
Record Label: Rain City Records
Release Date: May 15, 2009
Water & Bodies is the best EP I've heard in a long, long time. Portland's Water & Bodies (ex-Kaddisfly) shower downpour after downpour of energy, talent and all around potential-pregnant indie rock on this debut package, and I'm just left nodding along like a slave. I can't recall any mini-album in recent memory that has the same drive and prowess this one spews, and neither do I care at this point. This band has bought my attention, and it won't be selling it for some time.
A brief Google search will return several reviews that have a beef with the EP, but they all seem to go with subtle and picky points of attack. Sure, there is a modicum segment where the songwriting is messy. Sure, what Water & Bodies is writing is not breaking the levees of the genre. But what about everything else? The music really speaks for itself, but for the sake of the curious, I'll spell its defense out.
The vocals are what really pushes this band over the top. There are still plenty of Kaddisfly-type bands that think they can grab a fair share of the industry pie with sub-par vocals. Water & Bodies absolutely destroys their relevance, instead flaunting the highly trained warbling of Christopher Ruff. They cascade everywhere from jazzy heights to straightforward and charismatic singing, and I can think of few (actually, none at the moment) vocalists who can rival them in the indie scene.
The songwriting is consistent and beautiful the entire album. Every song brings a juicy punch that skyrockets the playback value, and the band manages to cover more than just the typical indie territory. There are electronics, there is a blues-y overtone; there's even a pep-talk anthem: "Just like the others that have come along before us / We'll try to carry on a legacy of hope and love / And in the face of adversity we are strong enough / We've got each other isn't that enough / This is the reason that we celebrate." How's that for a positive middle-finger to the haters?
I mean really, stop listening to whatever Kaddisfly-aspiring sob story you thought was the next best thing and give Water & Bodies a chance. I really don't see anything short of being blown away an option (at least as long as you're a fan of this type of stuff), considering they are "ex-Kaddisfly." But in the end, that really has nothing to do with the quality of their music. Sit down, pop in Water & Bodies, and tell it "Fill me in on everything," just like the last line of "Written And Read" says. You won't be disappointed.
I am SO glad that you reviewed this! I was and still am a big Kaddisfly fan (Set Sail the Prairie is such an amazing album!!!!) and I was a bit worried when they made the decision to put K-Fly on permanent hiatus and essentially try to build something from scratch with Water & Bodies.
My favorite track is "Free World" -- sounds best on full blast driving down the road ;) And you're right about Christopher Ruff's vocals. Not only are they powerful but they are also deeply emotive with a beautiful tonality. But really the whole EP is solid. Each track offers something different. K-Fly was always great with the musical landscapes and this new project is no different.
I can't wait to hear more material from these guys -- and hopefully they will be able to do some touring beyond the west coast. They are a force to be reckoned with on stage -- such musicianship and energy!
i actually listened to this yesterday. i've had it for a while, but just never gave it a good listen. i have to say that i still love kaddisfly more, but i do like water & bodies...different direction, good stuff.