The debut from Water Damage is both brutal wake up and deep mind hypnotic trip. The band, a septet that includes members of Spray Paint, USA/Mexico, Marriage, Black Eyes, Thor & Friends and more, operate in a paint-stripper drone capacity. Repetition is at the core of the band’s sound, an almost mechanical menace that wraps throbbing bass, a battalion of drums, bowed guitar, and synth into a noise flay that strips a layer or two from the gray matter with each listen, but leaves the listener clean and strangely centered. The beat is insistent, crashing like calls to war, entropy incarnate, a snapping of synapses over the course of two sides of surge.
The band knows how to lock into a groove (Repeater being a most apt album name) and the bowed guitar and synths often provide the only slight ripples in the full force flow of the record. Flashing like stripped metal the guitar parts dig into the mind with a serrated softness. It’s a sand blasted insistence, but the change is subtle, especially on the side-long opener “Reel 2.” The piece is manifesto and centerpiece all in one, a tone setter that tears the listener apart before they even get into the second side. Once through the wilds of “Reel 2” the rhythms spread out a bit, though Water Damage remain as locked and lethal as ever. For a debut, Repeater is as fully formed as they come — a ball peen hammer of rhythm and riot that rips from one ear to the other. It may not become a constant favorite, but when you need it, Water Damage provide a well needed ritual scrape.
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