Sadgirl - Water - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Sadgirl - Water

by Howard Scott Rating:9 Release Date:2019-06-14
Sadgirl - Water
Sadgirl - Water

LA-based trio Sadgirl has been around for better than five years, but up to this point, their recordings have consisted of EPs and singles. Their first bonafide album, “Water” has ten tasty tunes that take us back a few decades to easy flowing rhythm and blues, surf guitar and west coast attitude.

If such a thing exists as a rock and roll gene, front man and guitarist Misha Lindes should definitely be a recipient. His father, Hal, made a career as a guitar gunslinger, playing in Dire Straits for a few years before advancing to session guitarist and film arranger.  Remember hearing the Strat work in Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer”? That’s dear old Dad Hal’s talent on display. Misha’s sister Staz also plays in Paranoyds, an up-and-coming LA punk outfit.

Misha also had the advantage of growing up in both London and Los Angeles as the family followed his father’s career, so musical influences from the best of both worlds have obviously soaked in.

Combined with drummer David Ruiz and bass player Dakota Peterson, Lindes has created an easy listening offering that it is hard to find major fault with.

Appropriately enough on an album entitled “Water, the opening cut is “The Ocean”. A burst of flowing surf guitar leads into Lindes’ tempered and soothing vocal. The bass and percussion are understated in the background, but without them, the song would seem incomplete. Some nice keyboard work between verses also sends the tune into an aural way-back machine.

An early single from the album, “Chlorine” is a fun listen, starting with an energetic piano intro that blends into exquisite brass outbursts. I’m not sure I have ever known anyone by the name of Chlorine, but the descriptive lyrics create a mind’s eye picture of just such a girl. It all seems perfectly normal, right down to her beehive hair-do. This is a skillfully put together tune that is a personal favorite. The video shot to accompany it is also well done.

A pair of instrumentals break up the vocal tracks on the album. The first, “Hazelnut Coffee” is a bouncy little ditty showing off the drumming talents of Ruiz. A xylophone-like melody also kicks the music along with a deliberate pace that can’t help but please.

The second instrumental, “Avalon”, really blasts the west coast feel into the grey matter. A seaside-sounds background of gulls and waves introduces the heavenly surf strings and heavy tom-tom percussion. If you don’t see palm trees swaying in your head when listening to this one, perhaps there is an internal defect somewhere.

“Miss Me” brings to mind late Beatles work. The guitar parts are somewhat reminiscent of “She’s So Heavy” and the vocal is just echoey enough to give it a unique feel. This is another example of first-class songwriting and execution.

Peterson’s bass work really glows on “Little Queenie”, while “Strange Love” picks up the tempo a bit as Ruiz gives the beat a friendly and welcoming personality.

The title tune and album closer “Water” features what is probably the slowest count-in ever before some nice acoustic guitar work by Lindes makes itself prominent. The lyrics dealing with thirsts of more than one category are strong and thought-provoking before the seaside effects and Peterson’s bass wash us out to sea.

The songs on this album flow into one another like droplets over a cascade, and it seems almost like a single entity instead of a ten-part exercise. Sadgirl has a sound not heard very often these days, and the listening experience is a pleasant reminder of what was great about the times the music mirrors.       

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