You can feel Lullwater simply bubbling along the surface of “pop.” The opening track from their 2015 album, Revival, is begging to explode into a full-on Foo Fighters tune. Beneath the layered guitar textures rests this addictive and ravishing guitar line. But, it is buried beneath thick guitar textures. The effect is intoxicating. Lullwater seems to be holding back their pop interests with their lack to make their sound abrasive and spiky. It’s a tantalizing sound. You can even hear a little Dave Grohl beneath the surface, subtly screaming to be let out so he can do the hook to “Learn to Fly.”
The group’s debut self-titled record seemed to me to be an exploration of dirty, grimy, sweaty 90’s arena rock. The group seemed enamored with Eddie Vedder’s quieter moments and Stone Temple Pilots indulgent rock acrobatics. But, these sounds are pushed to the wayside in 2015 in favor of Kanye West doing whatever he is doing and rock being at an almost inarguable all-time low. The best selling rock album of 2014 was The Hunting Party from Linkin Park. For 2015, it could very well be the latest Coldplay release, which is a scary thought for many. The fact it may be that awful Foo Fighters album isn’t much better.
Anyways, if this 90’s throwback sound is the revival Lullwater seems to be referencing, it is certainly a breath of fresh air. There is no noticeable sonic revival moving into this sophomore record. The group only seems to be refining what they were trying to do with album numero uno. “Let Me Out” quickly blusters along, and throws another guitar solo into the wind.
The mix is unsurprisingly muddy. It seems to go with the territory for Lullwater, and it also keeps things just a little dirty. What Lullwater does do better with Revival compared to their first album is heightened sound and expansion. “Broken Wings” is a seven-minute jam that is not entirely unlike the Mr. Mister song of the same name about the book of love. Both songs succeed brilliantly with building tension. Mr. Mister quiets down and lets the song soak. Lullwater beats it over your head with over three minutes of freakishly curious guitar. It manages to make the first half of the song, which is a genuinely solid build, a tour-de-force. The track leads directly into “Burning Both Ends,” which may be one of my favorite follow-ins in recent memory.
Lullwater continues their place giving big rock an authority in 2015. Not many are doing it. Not even the bigger ones are doing it well. Lullwater sounds a bit pissed, and ready to unleash. With licks like “Liars & Thieves,” they deserve to break into something more than their equipment.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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