I immediately like Water Liars because their band name reminds me of thunderous titles of indie rock past–Pavement’s Watery, Domestic EP and Built to Spill’s Water Sleepers 7-inch. This Mississippi duo can certainly fuzzrock-out like those bands (often landing close to Pavement’s best Watery track, “Frontwards”), but they’re never as loose, so it’s more likely we’ll recognize in Water Liars the subdued yet sweaty stuff we like in The White Buffalo or Adam Faucett. In reality, their name comes from a Barry Hannah story.
I imagine this would be a great middle of the night on the highway album, but, I got to listen to Water Liars on an airplane flying over the Atlantic ocean in broad daylight–and it holds up to that real well. In their tonal shifts, Water Liars reflect the water below and the water above. The electric and the acoustic on this album, oscillating you between planes, leading you through cirrus and nimbus.
It would be great if bands had the time and resources to test drive their albums on different magnitudes of transportation–instead of just How does it sound in a car stereo?, How does it sound from laptop speakers?, Headphones in general?, they could experience how it sounds flying over the ocean or from a rear-facing seat on a cross-country Amtrak.
Water Liars would ace most traveling soundtracking tests because they shift tones seamlessly but with hard impact. Their acoustic songs balance between bedroom and front porch, but when they dawn the electric gear it’s like they’re armoring up for bar-band battle–which makes sense of a song titles like “War Paint” and “I Want
Find Water Liars on CD, vinyl, and digital at Fat Possum Records.