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Cosmic Rock

 

God’s Water – SKIN CD

  Heavy music group God’s Water was one of the most popular and unique live bands in Charlotte and the surrounding area during the early and mid nineties. The band was formed in 1991 by drummer Hale, bassist Cory Jones and guitarist Alan Wilson and ex Helpless Dancer singer Eric Tucker. Looking back, their sound was extremely original. They could be described as metal, alternative rock, gothic rock, grunge and many other genres as their songs easily shifted between influences.

 Unlike many mainstream metal groups at the time the band had depth to their lyrics and vibe, making the appeal from their name to artwork, stage show and vibe heads above. The core of the group was hugely rock solid with rhythm section of Hale (one of the best drummers ever out of Charlotte) and excellent bassist Cory Jones. The bass/drums foundation laid down a powerful groove and thunderous jam that made many of their songs very compelling even before the guitar and vocals were even present. A master of his instrument, Alan Wilson was an extremely original metal guitarist being entirely self taught which made his writing and playing very innovative and again to use the term very unique. Singer Eric Tucker’s always stellar vocal ability and lyrical creativity matched with ace stage presence made him one of the top very best from the Queen City to front a band.

 The group released two cassette demos “On Brilliant Wings”, “A Row of Umbrellas” and lastly the cd format release “Skin”. Very prolific songwriters, God’s Water had hundreds of songs and it’s a shame for fans of their live gigs that so many were never recorded. The cassettes would be very hard to find, but the cd is available if you look and I would definitely suggest seeking one out. Compared at times to Jane's Addiction for similar vocal effects and diverse influences, also to bands like Kings X and AIC to be honest I will always look at God’s Water as being way cooler than all of those bands (and I’m a big fan of all of them). The songs were strong and memorable at first listen, the live shows were amazing and the overall vibe and quality were heads above any comparisons easily named.

 At their height the live gigs could draw a thousand fans and that’s no mean feat in the small North Carolina scene and environment at the time of limited venues of size and support. Ahead of the curve of the Seattle grunge movement, if God’s Water had been in the middle of those bands I think they would have been a strong contemporary of Soundgarden, AIC, Mother Love Bone and the more eccentric artists that gained such popularity in that era.

 The band disbanded around 1995 when Eric relocated to New Orleans and the other band members gravitated to different projects. There have been talks of future reunions and I truly hope so; there was much more great music to create for these guys and their core audience remains.  The “Skin” cd is in itself a testimony of God’s Water’s alternative metal, gothic rock power and lyrical poetry but yet in the end only a brief intro to all the music they had and also yet to give. Let’s hope the guys return one day for more recording and live performances. Favorites include “He is a moth, she’s a butterfly”, the thunderous and catchy compassion of “Wagon”, the anthemic joyous love song “Jump In the Jar”, the ballad “Row of Umbrellas”, the dark vampiric introspection of “Candle” and others.

 One important detail was always the GW standard of quality in a live setting and the studio. This disc is enhanced by the high-quality production of the great engineer Mark Williams (at the time from Reflection studio in Charlotte NC).  Few groups stand out like that, especially during the time they were active. This band was made up of four very talented players and friends at the exact right time: lightning was striking with this band during its’ existence. It was evident how much musical power was cracking when the moment was right.

God’s Water was an amazing live band: layered parts of metal heaviness, gothic stage theatrical vibe and alternative grunge rock. This cd is a timeless reminder of the eccentric heavy rock sound they were creating and the poetic, artistic sonic vibe they shared with a listener.