Thursday 2 May 2024

Big Water - Drink More Water

Labels: Lydia House/Self-Released/The Ghost Is Clear Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: CDr/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 14 Dec 2018


1. B.M.

2. My Name Is Chappie Johnson And I Can't Open This Damn Pickle Jar

3. Typical Porn

4. Highest Number Is 24

5. Half-Eatin' Sandwich

6. Drunk Punch Love

Back in 2018 I was lucky enough to be able to premiere the song 'Typical Porn' from the debut EP by Kansas City, US screamo/hardcore band Big Water. My biggest failing at the time though was not reviewing the full EP. I'm (sort of) righting that wrong this evening as I pick my ZBR roster review series back up again. Drink More Water was self-released by Big Water on tape and digitally in November 2018 (according to Discogs), before both The Ghost Is Clear Records and Zegema Beach Records released their own limited tape run a month later. There was also a CDr run made by Lydia House (again according to Discogs) but quantity and release date are unknown.

It’s weird how the less-is-more approach (to writing and posting) seems to be working. I always used to have the energy to write about a new release every evening, but things change and I’m still trying to re-find that same energy. Short sharp releases help and Drink More Water is definitely one of those. Opener ‘B.M.’ greets you with a sample from the TV comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm (I think? Please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s a short intro that leads into Big Water’s take on heavy yet groovy screamo/emo-violence with some added hardcore thrown in. ‘My Name Is Chappie Johnson And I Can’t Open This Damn Pickle Jar’ gives off total mathcore vibes initially. Maybe that’s due to quick shift from sound bite to harsh screamo, with plenty of off-kilter tempos and unexpected rhythmic fluency thrown in to the mix.

By the time you reach ‘Typical Porn’ you realise that while it seems like Big Water don’t take things too seriously, their music and it’s delivery is very much serious business. It’s shorter than the average song (apparently the average length of a “pop” song in three minutes and thirty seconds). Thankfully though, this isn’t an average pop song and I’m now going to wash my mouth out for suggesting it was even close. I get the impression that perhaps my neighbour above might be annoyed with the volume I’m playing this EP at or maybe even the volume of my typing, which I also get abuse for in my day job. ‘The Highest Number Is 24” is as furious as Big Water get. The enjoyment factor is massive here!.

‘Half-Eatin’ Sandwich’ has some bizarre nu-metal influences going on amongst the guitars (at least my ears anyway). It’s over before it’s really begun, in part due to the gung-ho fashion is which Big Water do things. There’s no point in dawdling anyway right?. EP closer ‘Drunk Punch Love’ is the longest song here and it exhibits a leaning towards exciting noise-rock for sure. Filled with angular instrumentation, the vocals are either used sparingly or huddled deep in the mix. It’s hard to pinpoint musical influences but it nods towards AmRep more than it does to Ape Must Not Kill Ape, if you get what I mean.

In the throwaway culture we live in now, debut demos and EPs tend to be overlooked by people who don’t dare to dig below the surface. If you’ve read this review and/or are familiar with Big Water, you’re not one of those people. Thank you, for you have chosen wisely as this EP is fantastic.

You can stream and purchase Drink More Water digitally from Big Water below, where it's also available on tape too:-

Zegema Beach Records still have copies of the tape available in their US store here too -

Big Water - @bigwaterkc Instagram

The Ghost Is Clear Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

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