Fire Note Says: Water Liars make sure you can feel on their damaged but excellent Wyoming!
Album Review: I will warn you that Water Liars sophomore record, Wyoming, is a completely damaged Americana/rock album from the duo of singer/guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster and drummer/vocalist Andrew Bryant that will tug on your emotions, confirm life can be a downer and possibly steer you towards the liquor cabinet. I will also tell you that this outpouring of connecting material is also why Wyoming has an extreme strength, power and beauty that equates a lasting impression.
“Thank you for the cigarettes but never mind the coffee; throwing out the old regrets; crawling after glory” is just one of the memorable lines from Kinkel-Schuster on opening track “Sucker” as he describes being “just the sucker leaving” a gone South relationship. This is just the start of Wyoming’s struggles as “Fake Heat” brings the lines “next time I go over; there’s some condoms in the garbage with a letter from her father; as she’s naked on the bed; and loneliness is just the path we walk”. Clearly not the perfect picture of things going well but the dual harmonies and passion behind each line make Water Liars stand out. “Linens” is a more upbeat foot tapper but is full of wistful resignation of how great it would be to have a flawless relationship that is encapsulated when Kinkel-Schuster pointedly sings he just wishes they could be “inside a room where sadness never goes.”
After only three tracks you think the listener might get crushed by the walls of Wyoming crumbling around them but Water Liars hold things sturdy with their intricate playing, soulful harmonies and a discoverable hope in Kinkel-Schuster’s voice, even when things seem impossible. The album never gets louder than its several mid-tempo rockers which fit perfectly with its overall tone and Water Liars excellent vocal delivery. Wyoming may not be a record for every event but it is definitely an album that fits on a rainy day or when you are in need of just crashing on the couch. Even though some of the material is tough most listeners can identify with these “moments” in time and therefore it not only gives Wyoming a timeless appeal but takes Water Liars to an entire new level as this record is their best to date!
Key Tracks: “Sucker”, “Linens”, “You Work Days I Work Nights”
Artists With Similar Fire: Fleet Foxes / Iron & Wine / My Morning Jacket
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Fat Possum Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony