This is a great band from Tewkesbury, UK, Whitewater has now four releases under their belt and each one is a brilliant facet of their work and efforts in the world of Prog. The track above is from the Lp of the same name, “Obscured By The Sun“. Lengthy and PROGarific to the edge of the envelope. Their album , “The Sound of a Galaxy Smashing” is an epic composition of sight and sound and will definitely capture your attention.
They have certainly earned their stripes in every album they have put out with the exception of the all instrumental record, Raison d’Etre from last year. It is I have to say a bit of a step down from their previous albums, still great music but missing the vocal aspect of it and that I found to hurt their album somewhat. Perhaps it was more of an experiment in sound to which I can not complain coming from these musicians. One of the great things with WW is that they keep their music very concise in the tempo in which they play. They aren’t too fast or too slow but right in the middle and shift gears when necessary at the right time. With songs at great lengths and certainly a huge Pink Floyd influence as well as many others in the genre , Whitewater has garnered enough attention that they will continue and carry forth the Prog torch along with the other bands of today that wear the Prog emblem with pride.
Their music has a precise and reliable tone to their sound that assures us that they mean what they play. Never a dull moment with Whitewater’s music. I find that they use an impressive echo effect on their vocals in almost every song to one degree or another which gives the ambiance to their tone a great compliment. Like a lot of today’s Prog this band has paid homage to their Prog heroes and have clearly has spent a considerable amount of time huddled around the record player spinning old copies of Meddle, Ummagumma, Animals, & A Saucerful of Secrets etc, all of which can be heard in ghostly fogs over their music and that Whitewater has made it happen that you think of these albums and other Prog bands when you play their music but you never lose your grip on what you are listening to. Simplified effects through the guitar and the rest of the band give it a primarily clean sound of instrumentation gives a solidified tone of clarity and forthright musicianship.
Their music is intense as much to listen to it as I’m sure it is for them to play. Sometimes it takes a few listens to in order for one to grasp what the band is trying to convey in and through their music but with this band it was an immediate connection of like and appreciation. I’ll be honest and say I’m disappointed I haven’t found any bootlegs of them playing live as yet because I’m certain that they would put on an epic live performance. It’s easy to compare a lot of what they do to other bands similar and I believe that they will continue to do their own thing and create what inspires them from their records prior and who they listen to.
Whitewater needs that vocal element in their music, one or two instrumentals is acceptable but I have always found with Prog music that the more instrumental you get the tad boring it becomes, at least for me because it depends on the band. Case in point, Tangerine Dream who are one of the very few bands that can go all instrumental and get away with it, and meant to be so in that hypnotic space like way where bands like WW are better suited to be a vocalized band because their vocal tracks compliment the music aspect of it as well as the vocalist has a great voice for their tone. So many other Prog bands have amazing music but as soon as the vocalist opens their mouth it’s game over, well, again, for me. I am not a fan of that operatic vocal styling that has plagued many of the newer bands lately and really, for some time now. It’s a killjoy for me and no matter how good the music is, if the singer starts in with the opera style singing then I just can’t do it. Same goes for bands like, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest for me, I can’t get passed it and my metal is up for discussion some other time! Whitewater’s vocalist is a key element and amazing tone to their sound and an imperative facet to their sound!
Their other three albums are key records to any PROGgers collection and regarded as crowning achievements to the annals of Prog Rock. probably still in the shadows of the outer regions of the Prog world but they are slowly creeping through the weeds and becoming a strong force to be reckoned with musically. They move like the rotation of a planet and stir up storms of sound that definitely keep you grounded on terra firma! The Ep “Slipstream” is a five song strengthener to the “Obscured By The Sun” record as it has only one song that carries over, Breathe. The title track, Slipstream I have played to the point where my record would have warped by now and I still hail it as one of my favs by the band. Very curious to see what they release next as no two albums are alike in the progression of how the songs are aside from their mid range speed of their music. The tone is a signature sound of theirs and they should maintain that as much as they can as well as exploring newer avenues as well.
Whitewater is definitely an impressive force in the world of Prog Rock and will continue to be so until they decide to call it a day which I hope is a long ways away! Their influences have played a key role in helping them design their sound and then their own twist on things making it an even better overall sound for them. Surely a band you want in your collection and will play many times over!