Title: Animals & Their Hiding Places
Catalogue Number: Neon Tetra 015
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008
Bluesbunny has a fondness for bands from Baltimore. From inspired weirdness of The Agrarians to the pop pleasures of Gary B & The Notions, it seems to be the kind of place that has some sort of musical satisfaction for everyone. Adding yet more credence to this unscientific assertion is the subject of this review, Water School.
Running through the songs, "Cartow" is quirky and sparky much like the Housemartins used to be. Then there was the conventional indie pop sounds of "Astronaut" that took a decent stab at summarising pop music history for us. These songs even have a chorus that you can sing-along to (not that common these days!). One of the highlights of the album was the epic and episodic "Baby Song". It was just like all those late sixties singer songwriters had been saving up their angst and melodies for the next decent Woody Allen film soundtrack then got a bit impatient and squeezed it all into 3 minutes. Subject wise, there are girls and odes to girls like "Dawn" or "Resolution" and an underlying feeling of regret. Obviously Water School failed to spot that women neither forget nor forgive so these songs get added to a long list of apologies that man has made to woman. Strangely, the picture on the back of the sleeve suggests that all the members of the band should know better by now. And while I'm at it, "The Whole Town" brought back memories of Dean Friedman of all people. Remember Dean Friedman? Thought not.
There are neat songs on show here and it is all put together well. Perhaps it lacks that essential magic that will get them into hyperdrive towards success but Water School's album stands up to repeated plays and is certainly worthy of your attention.
July 27, 2008
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