KEXP @ CMJ 2011, Day 3: WATERS

photos by Brittney Bush Bollay and Victoria VanBruinisse

In the ashes of Port O’Brien, front man Van Pierszalowski has been born again as WATERS. While the folk isn’t entirely gone from Pierszalowski’s sound, WATERS is definitely driven more by fuzzy, poppy guitar riffs that would feel right at home on 90’s college radio alongside Harvey Danger and Nada Surf. This can be attributed to Pierszalowski’s desire for a grander, more emotive sound, giving his music more volume without losing intimacy or emotional intensity. His new album, Out In The Light, is fuller and more aggressive than anything he’s ever done, mixing pealing guitars and crashing drums, with both soaring and languid melodies that weave their way into your head and refuse to leave. In addition to their KEXP performance in the lobby of the Ace Hotel, presented by Toyoto Free Yr Radio, WATERS will be playing TONIGHT at 10:00 pm at Union Hall in New York.

The crowd in the lobby of the Ace Hotel was weary and in search of caffeine as WATERS kicked the final day of performances at 10:30 am. For those of us who couldn’t get our hands on coffee before the set started, however, WATERS’ electrified folk rock provided just the jolt we needed, at least until the line at the Stumptown inside the Ace died down. Clad in denim and looking like a rugged cross between Kurt Cobain and Neil Young, front man Van Pierszalowski led the four-piece band in heavy, guitar-centric folk rock jams, with all of the songs played coming from their only album Out In The Light. Though WATERS music is reminiscent of 90s college radio, comparisons to Neil Young are apropos, as well; Pierszalowski often took to wheeling and lurching around the stage like the rock legend as he reeled off one Crazy Horse-inspired jam after another. The Laurel Canyon vibe the band was putting off became even more apparent when Pierszalowski let the audience know he from California, after which he said a few words to his mother and father, whom were listening back home.

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One Comment

  1. Dave S
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    This set was awesome

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