Some general impressions
The second album of the band, and the first I got my hands on. The cover art is a bit 'strange' for what I first expected of it. But it's kinda suiting. :) The music of Waterdown could be described as a mixture between modern Emo-Core, Hardcore and Punk. Yet, that does not quite cover it. The album covers almost all those genres and related. There are kinda punkish tracks ('Nothing', 'Transient'), tracks that go down the Post-Emo/Emo-Core path ('Xerox', 'Nails all broken short'), and others bring on sort of a more hardcore-ish style ('Interrogation'). That makes the whole album quite interesting to discover. The mix is done good. You get one or two hard pounding songs, maybe followed by a more emo-ish track, just to be brightened up by a more cheery track. The first four tracks are a good example for that.
To speak of the instrumentation: Two guitarists are justified here. Definately. Like most bands, that can be put into the postemo-genre, Waterdown use a classic lead/rythm guitar model with well put guitar lines. Also very common, two vocalists, one specialised on melodic singing and one for screaming and shouting. Both singers get their good share, some tracks are 50:50, other more screaming, other tracks more melodic. A good balance. But overall, regarding instruments here's nothing really out of the ordinary. Though what kinda confused me are the sometimes strange break-down parts and song parts. 'A Fortress' is a good example. The intro and verse riff is quite... strange IMO. But, ok.
Overall. this is probably among the best Emo-Core groups I discovered so far, and IMO, they can keep up with the comparision to major groups from the States for example.
What I really like about the album:
The different aspects of this album really got me. The stuff is pretty broad when it comes to styles and genres. Tracks like 'Xerox' or 'Nails all broken short' change with punk tracks like 'Going back' or more heavier tracks like 'Disgrace' or 'A Fortress'. A variety that other bands lack. I also really like the vocal work. I like the contrast of shouted vocals and melodic singing, and it's done quite good here. Though I must confess, that on some points, it could be done a bit better. Nevertheless, good. The basslines are nothing overly special, but are still fun to listen to (and to play). A good overall package. A worthy end is the instrumental track '13'.
What was not so good:
Still, the record has it's weaknesses. The middle of the playlist seems a bit weak sometimes. In particular, 'Decaffienated' and 'Nails all broken short' are the tracks I often skip. Those two are a bit weak, but the rest is on a high level. Plus, sometimes the melodic singer gets into a vocal range that his voice can not support that good. This could have been avoided.
If you're up to modern emo-ish music, this is probably something for you to check out. You like tracks that are somewhere between Punk and mild Hardcore-ish music? This could be something for you to check out. :) Nice melodic vocals, good shouting, interesting guitar work and bass and drums that round up the whole package.
This is a good alternative if emo is your genre. In that case, I would really suggest to check this out. If the post-emo craze is not quite your case, you can still give this record a try, some of the songs might still be pleasent for your ears. Though I would not expect wonders in that case.
Overall, a good album that can entertain quite a while.
My song suggestions:
"Xerox" - Quite depressing touch, but good melodic vocals. Weird break-down part. My favorite song of the album
"Nothing" - A good opposite to songs like 'Xerox'. Punk like song that has a more friendly touch
"Disgrace" - I think the best example for screamed vocals, and catchy melodic choruses. One of the heavier ones.
"13" - An instrumental closure of the album. Really nice.