Thursday, November 05, 2015

Water Landing - Cleared For Takeoff

This is another record that I've been trying to get to for quite a while now. Water Landing is a local Las Vegas group made up of man-about-town Ron Hudy (you've seen him in his aviator googles somewhere) on drums and vocals, Eric Phillips on guitar and lead vocals, Jules Phillips on vocals, kazoo and ironing board (not sure how that fits in with the airline motif, but not for me to say, I suppose!), Daniel Woodward on bass and Ellen Pietrafeso on violin and keyboards. The sound is hard to describe, but I call them humorous new wave, for lack of a better term.

After the pilot's warnings, they open up strong with a powerful "Airplane Song" that explains their name a bit with a Devo-esque/punky backing track. "Hey Friend" is a bit more serious than most tunes here and has a very cool groove and keyboard/guitar interplay (nice wah-wah, too). Hudy's "Deflation Situation" kinda reminds me a bit of the Stranglers' "Bitching", with its incessant, driving guitar-chord-riff - and there's even cowbell here! Nice bass work and backing vocals, as well. They get a bit sillier in "Devils" - pretty goofy lyrics and simple instrumentation, but fun sing/shout-along chorus and a rave-up ending. The violin adds a nice texture to "Melody's the Rhyme", a darker number with really cool guitar lines working with the violin to create some good melodies, as the title would imply!

More melodic fills from the violin and guitar on "Rocket Ship" and I get an early Ultravox vibe (love their first album!) on "Very Important Mission", probably one of their strongest songs. For the closer, though, they go full-on goofball with "Eddie the Horse" - funny, but a bit too far over the edge for repeated listenings!

Fun band, damn nice people and entertaining live - check 'em out!