Going on their seventh year together, Broken Water, a band from Olympia, Washington, have pulled together a new album. This trio knows how to take turns; they all take on the role of vocalist at one point or another. The members are guitarist Jon, drummer Kanako, and bassist Abigail. Jon and Kanako were previously in another band together, and Abigail currently plays in another band as well. Their most recent work together is titled Wrought.
Their sound is undeniably grunge; Jon can be heard shredding along frequently, and you can hear the guitar and drums perfectly in each record. The bass does make its way to the forefront, keeping the rhythm moving. There is a decaying effect used frequently on the instruments of the record. They indeed share the vocal lead, although I couldn’t pinpoint the difference in vocals between Kanako and Abigail, which of course wasn’t the case for Jon.
“High – Lo” opens the album with a track that is numbing, because of its simple shredding and mellow chorus. The song highlights fluctuations in confidence as the vocalists questions themselves. The fast-paced, angry and ultimately catchy “Wasted” features Jon on vocals, which mimics what he’s playing on guitar when the chorus comes around. “1984” then slows us down and you can hear an eerily strong decay in the guitar. With about a minute left in the song, the tempo quickens instantaneously, but for the end, it settles back to slow movement. In contrast to “Wasted,” Jon keeps vocals minimal and the ambiance is calmer on “Psycho Static.” “Love And Poverty” is led by a soft-spoken lady, which unfortunately makes it very hard to make out the lyrics over the guitar and drums. This doesn’t take away from the beauty of the song; it is still melodically enchanting. It also features a short and slick guitar solo in the middle. Ending with a 12-minute song that is unlike the rest of the punk-influenced tunes, “Beach” is a dreamy instrumental.
Broken Water does a fine job at paying homage to their influences; their music is almost nostalgic as if it was recorded during the height of grunge. A strong point to adding variety is their use of alternating lead vocalists, a smart move to keep their music from becoming banal. Wrought is a refreshing take on the ‘90s nostalgia trend but regardless of the trends, they’ve delivered a work worth listening to.
In A Word: Eerie