Blue Water White Death: Blue Water White Death

Blue Water White Death: Blue Water White Death

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Blue Water White Death

Album: Blue Water White Death
Label: Graveface

Collaborative projects are often a way for otherwise serious artists to goof around and let off a little steam. Blue Water White Death is no different; the self-titled debut teams two of indie-rock’s most melodramatically arty songsmiths, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, and the result is a batch of tunes with titles like “Rendering The Juggalos,” “Death For Christmas,” and “This Is The Scrunchyface Of My Dreams.” But if this is how Stewart and Meiburg play around, fear for them. “There’s a darkness in here that I want to unfurl,” Stewart sings on “Scrunchyface” before doing exactly that, unleashing a tsunami of symphonic noise and monastic incantation that feels like a lead weight tied to the soul. Meiburg picks up the challenge with “Song For The Greater Jihad,” an Armageddon-like acoustic track that sounds eerily like Kansas’ “Dust In The Wind” dragged through Kierkegaard’s collected works. There’s no reason to believe these two uniquely gifted songwriters would get together and make pop jingles. But by the album’s end, the duo’s angsty one-upsmanship devolves into—as Stewart intones on the aptly titled “Grunt Tube”—“absolute unpleasantness twiddling its thumbs.”

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