I first caught wind of the Peoria (now Chicago)-based Waterstreet through the lead track off their Of Gossip EP, “Nobody’s Ground.” Their sound on it intrigued me. It’s a rock song, sure, but its got elements that make it difficult to categorize or even explain.
Mike Crusen on bass leads the way through a rollercoaster maze of moderate to quickly paced song. Keys get smacked. Rob Gould on drums works overtime. And I think the best part is the backing vocals, which make “Nobody’s Ground” as sonically interesting as a System of a Down track back when the Armenian-American band was the talk of rock.
Fortunately, the rest of the five-track EP holds up really well.
Waterstreet is a rock band, so naturally they’re singing about women most of the time. And I wouldn’t say there’s a good amount of substance in the lyrics, but Waterstreet sure does a nice job at layering their sound. They’re as polished as anything.
“Psycho,” actually, may be my favorite. It’s relentlessly on edge — from the non-stop guitars to Evan Hand’s screamed vocals to the catchy yeahhh yeahhhhhs peppered throughout the track. Evan’s got some solid pipes, too, and they’re showcased here.
The quartet experiments the most on a tune like “Come on Back.” That quick to slow and back again pacing — which drove “Nobody’s Ground” and “Psycho” — is back another time. Also present is a sweet one-minute jam sesh that I’m banking is a treat live.
To my knowledge, Waterstreet doesn’t have any upcoming Chicago gigs, but they will be playing a number of shows within striking distance through the end of the year. Check out their MySpace page for dates and times.
From the band:
We recorded Of Gossip at Kilo Records near Chinatown here in Chicago in April of 2010. Tracked 5 songs in 5 days, all live as a band, all the vocals were recorded around one microphone, no click track, no auto-tuning bullshit… Rock and Roll.
- Waterstreet is: Evan Hand (lead vox/lead guitar), Joe Shadid (lead guitar/lead vox), Mike Crusen (bass/vox) and Rob Gould (drums).
- Their EP, Of Gossip, is available on iTunes for $4.95.
“Psycho” official music video