By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Water Liars is the happiest of accidents.
Justin Kinkel-Schuster and Andrew Bryant weren’t looking to start a band, really. Bryant is an Oxford-based drummer and producer, and Kinkel-Schuster was in the indie rock group Theodore. But when the two friends decided to get together to jam, Water Liars was born, and the music that would become the duo’s debut record, “Phantom Limb,” came together effortlessly.
“We’ve known each other for a long time before we made the record. When I went to Andrew’s old house, we had no plans,” Kinkel-Schuster said. “We were just gonna spend the weekend messing around and recording and seeing what happens, just for fun. Turns out, we’d always been friends and we’d had a lot of the same tastes in music and interest in music.”
What came out of those jam sessions is one of the most talked-about and applauded debuts of the year. Water Liars’ sound is subtle yet loud, shimmery yet sludgy, but always honest. The opposing styles even come together in one song, the stand-out opener “$100,” which switches between a grimy, metal-esque sound and a toe-tapping, swaying singer-songwriter groove.
“The live show is, it’s probably safe to say, a little more rock. It’s a little louder. Intense is a good word,” Kinkel-Schuster said. “But it’s also important for us to maintain the dynamics of the louder parts when there are still a lot of really quieter parts and softer parts, too. We try to balance it.”
Water Liars is already working on a sophomore album. The guys will hit the studio in September, with a release date sometime in early 2013.
“It sounds like us. I think the big thing is, we have more of a sound that’s our own. The first record sounds like us, but we have developed a lot more,” Bryant said. “When we’ve got new songs, we don’t want them to sit around and fester for too long. We like to keep ourselves busy and keep ourselves working.”
Everything’s coming together for the band right now. Kinkel-Schuster, who was living in Missouri, is moving to Water Valley, where Bryant lives, so the two can share a central location.
“We’re giving this our best shot,” Bryant said.
Water Liars may have been an accident, but the guys say it was the best one possible.
“It’s just an absolute pleasure. We work and sync in a way that is completely unique for me. We love recording and just working on songs and working on the way they sound,” Kinkel-Schuster said. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been in this project.”
WHO: Water Liars
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Proud Larry’s
EXTRA: 18 and up only