REM on steroids, Alice in Chains with cleaner clothes, or acoustic grunge with a pop flavoring – either way “Turbulence Vol. 1” is, quite simply, beautiful music. There’s been so much baggage hung on the whole alternative music, it’s refreshing to see a return to the basics of harmonious composition and great singing. There isn’t a bad moment anywhere, not one bit of sappiness, annoyance, boredom, or any other of the failings that have doomed countless promising alternative releases. In a nutshell, if you love intelligent music, this EP quite literally has everything you want. Air of Water is an alternative rock band with neo-grunge tendencies that was formed out of Arizona. These guys don’t just put together catchy, melodic tunes, but lyrics that are poignant and meaningful. There is little doubt that the band put a great deal into their songwriting. The result is an EP that you can listen to straight through and experience pretty much the entire emotional gamut.
The true test of great music is whether or not the artist can make you feel what they’re is feeling. Air of Water succeeds, and draws you into their own world, plays with your emotions, makes you feel what they want you to feel, and leaves you with the sense that their music isn’t just relating their stories, but is relating stories that are part of our own experiences.
Where so many other modern bands fail, Air of Water really talk to their audience. They combine intense, energetic mid-tempo beats, words that touch the soul, and beautiful voices to create a recording that can be listened to over and over.
“Soak” immediately draws the listener into the narrator’s inner thoughts and emotions, the feelings conveyed in the song come across with uncanny power, bathed in a lush acoustic driven beat and embellished by a fiery electric guitar solo.
The bitterness and sarcasm of the beautifully written and composed “Love Song” are masterfully weaved together into a moving grunge anthem. It is a convincing embodiment of frustration and angst. The songwriting, the lyrics, the heartfelt delivery, the passionate vocals and the complete arrangement is impacting, it just doesn’t get much better than this.
And with “Alright”, Air of Water deliver another great song that is both gentle and powerful. The interaction between the vocals and instruments is quite perfect. The smoother, richer organic influences give the arrangement extra boost and the melodic lead vocal performance just makes you go along with the song, locked into its harmonious core.
There’s craft here, to be sure: As songwriters, the band knows precisely how to move between verses and choruses with the sense of inevitability that radio demands. “Preacher Man” takes the formula of the previous song one step further, adding darker and edgier alternative elements.
The result is a track with a more desperate sense of foreboding urgency. From the first chord you are captivated hanging on every note, until the turbid chorus climbs out of the speakers and drags you deep down inside. The song sparkles with genius, and cannot be ignored.
Great songwriting coupled with great musical talent make for one of the best alternative bands on the current underground scene. Air of Water have a unique blend of deepness and emotion in their songs but at the same time are easily accessible to any type of music fan. In a world with so many different dime-a-dozen alt rock bands, Air of Water is without a doubt one of the diamonds in the rough.