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Album Review: Blood and Water - In Character

Blood and Water, a six-piece alternative rock-ska outfit out of California, managed to create a perfect balance of upbeat rock and funky ska on their latest release, 'In Character'. Every track on the album manages to set itself apart from the others, with a mix of dual vocalists, interesting rhythms, and diverse instruments.

Shining among the 13 tracks are without a doubt the ones with the most ska influence, which is something Blood and Water excels at executing. At the top of this list is “Sleep it Off,” which kicks in with funky guitar and fast paced lyrics. “Opening Band” features horns and staccato-like rhythms in the chorus, which also features insightful, mature lyrics, which are prevalent on this album. Also at the top is the punk-feeling “Obilo” and the unexpectedly different “Given up.” These four tracks are upbeat and fun, and each element the band puts forth comes together beautifully.

Only a few tracks miss the mark. “Gakou” features a silly bird-call at the beginning and an annoying “na-na-na” theme that gets old quickly. “Weighted and Measured” is a sleepy acoustic track that never takes off, and ends up being repetitive and unmemorable.

One thing this band really has working for them, is having two vocalists. Brad and Matt Hagmann have different voices and styles of singing, but this gives their melodies and harmonies a depth and dimension that isn’t often found elsewhere. The band is also adept at blending acoustic and electric sounds. This, and the addition of a trombone and a didgeridoo, creates layers to their music that keeps their songs from being average.

Overall, Blood and Water crafted a well-balanced, interesting album with mature, insightful lyrics, interesting rhythms, and intricate musical layers. 'In Character' will please existing fans and newcomers alike; these boys have talent that won’t be overlooked.


'In Character' by Blood and Water is available now on Eden Records.

Blood and Water on MySpace

Jenny Bauer

Alter The Press!