Album Review: Water and Bodies ‘The Rain City Sessions’

Water and Bodies CD Review
January 28, 2010

Label: Rain City Records
Water and Bodies
The Rain City Sessions

by Aaron Binder

Portland Oregon is often considered one of the indie-music hotbeds in North America, with great reason too – the city has spawned countless national acts in many genres. Before breaking up in mid-2009, Kaddisfly had been writing a follow-up to their incredible and critically acclaimed album Set Sail the Prairie when bassist Kile Brewer decided to leave the band.

In the same announcement, the remaining members informed fans that their new project, Water and Bodies was moving forward at breakneck speed, they had wasted no time jumping into the new project. The fruit of their labour paid off with a self-titled EP in May 09’ and a new foothold in the city that indie-rock built. With their name on the map, they forged ahead with another writing session and The Rain City Sessions was born.

If you’re familiar with Kaddisfly, you’ll be right at home with the cerebral, thoughtful and searching lyrics sung by Christopher Ruff; the cadence of his voice often flowing in long arcs, right beside the expansive musical movements. The band has built a sound that is at times minimal and at other times big enough to fill a stadium. Bizarre is the perfect example, starting out with an intriguing introduction and then running into the most bombastic chorus on the EP.

The group has matured since their first EP, exploring a more bare sound than they have employed in the past and utilizing some slower tempos while still maintaining the frantic style they have become known for in both Kaddisfly and Water and Bodies. The band has a talent for adding little twists and turns along the way, opting to use the minimal sound while still keeping the pace upbeat. Even with a relatively unique style, the band does become a little predictable toward the end of the EP, using a shotgun approach and seeing what sticks to the ear canal, their transitions from verse to chorus are sometimes overused but still enjoyable.

The bare sound works well with the poppier nature of the album and explores some elements that the band seems to be moving toward. For any previous fans of Kaddisfly that have been wondering what happened, this is an excellent transition into a new project while keeping all of the best elements from the previous project. For new fans, this is a great second offering from a group that is still defining their sound, expect great things on their first full-length. This is a great example of a band that isn’t worried about genres or making impressions, they’re more interested in just putting out great music. In that vein, Rain City Sessions is a great example.


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