8 Waters - Out In The Light

Every now and again, you stumble on something great. It's even harder to do these days, when we're inundated with new music online, and endless sea of 'next big things.' I accidentally heard Waters while doing research for this list. It was number one on someone else's. All I could really say was wow. It reminded me of the rock albums of the 90's. There's no posturing, no stacks of needless instruments, no indie cred. Just loud guitars, distorted vocals, and a quick batch of fantastic songs.

Turns out, Van Pierszalowski has loads of indie cred. After fronting Port O'Brien for almost four years (the band split in 2010), Van spent the better part of a year on this album, Out In The Light. Right out of the gate, the manic energy of "For the One" is felt in the snotty delivery of the first line. If you're left unsure whether or not you…um…like it (as a few friends of mine seemed to feel after I hailed it as spectacular), the second song, "O Holy Break of Day," will seal the deal. The arrangements are earnest and straightforward, and Van's vocal delivery quickly grows on you.

Throughout the ten songs, Waters explore many variations on the same spectrum. They can slow to a crawl, and then force it back on you, usually with an anticipated build that was so prominent on records ten years ago. Not to say that Out In The Light doesn't sound fresh, quite the opposite. I think the main thing I love about this record is the fact that no one has done nineties nostalgia this well since the nineties. It's loose and listenable, not taking itself too seriously, which makes it a comfortable listen all the way through. It's also turned me on to Port O'Brien, who I hadn't previously explored.

Look out for this guy, hopefully the Waters project endures, because this record is a gem.

Download: "O Holy Break of Day" - "Ones You Had Before" - "Take Me Out to the Coast"