"I want blood all the time!" Justin Kinkel-Schuster bellows into the microphone at Off Broadway, a small music venue in South County, St. Louis. Not the lyrics you would usually hear coming from a band that sounds more like Band of Horses than death metal. But the way Water Liars have mixed rock and folk is what gives them a sound uniquely distinct from their peers. Mississippi natives, Water Liars have just released their self-titled third album, added a bassist and play with a sound so smooth, you have to wonder why you haven't heard of them before. Starting out with a thrash of heavy chords and rollicking drums, played on a small kit, the first impression is of heavy rock. Then, without warning, it changes into a mellow funk that gets you on your feet, followed by Kinkel-Schuster's slightly southern drawl of a voice. As Water Liars take you on a ride through their set, not filled with songs, but with stories, Andrew Bryant's backing vocals come out majestically underneath, blending so well with Kinkel-Schuster that they almost become one voice.
Before the last song, Bryant and GR Robinson, the new bassist, leave the stage as Kinkel-Schuster tunes his guitar and strums the first few chords of a simple, yet hauntingly beautiful song off of their new album titled, "Let It Breathe." And as he croons into the microphone, you have to remember to breathe, as the sounds leave you lost in his world.
Sounding like Band of Horses combined with My Morning Jacket, Water Liars know what they're doing. They give rock and roll a country voice and make it look effortless and easy.
You can find all three of their albums on iTunes.