The new one from Watertank is a chronicle of entwined imagining and tangential observations related in a language from another world that, against all odds, makes perfect sense.
Watertank is from Nantes, France. Silent Running is the band’s third album, following Destination Unknown (2015) and Sleepwalk (2013). Tagged as post-hardcore and shoegaze, the music is persistent and loaded with creative guitar riffs. The musicians are Romain Donet on guitar, Jocelyn Liorzou on drums, and Thomas Boutet singing and playing both guitar and bass.
The cover image is something that looks like a Tardigrade Stegosaurus that has leapt through a pane of glass. That would be quite a feat for a microscopic organism. The layering of the unusual and the unexpected into an amalgam that you somehow accept is an excellent image of the music on the album, which is somewhat more complex and reaching compared to the band’s earlier releases.
The album opens with “Envision,” which warps in on a squeal that drops off a cliff to a tramping rock-pop riff driver that carries a crooked edge. It is a creative mixing of known devices to generate a different sound and, even more importantly, a feeling that shifts unexpectedly from goodtime to uneasy. “Suffogaze” starts with a nice Tony Iommi-inspired riff, and as with the first track, shifts and bends in a way that is not just a quirk. Some of time the music has a very heads-down resoluteness to it and at other times there are lively rock and heavy guitar moments. The vocals are melodic and often soft, even whispering. That quiet element pressed against disconsonant chords or heavy guitar pulses further enwarbles your thinking as the music works its way through you. By the time “Cryptobiosis” comes around at the end, you are willing to believe in the world you have heard.
Silent Running is out now. Bandcamp has the download and there is also a vinyl version available.