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REVIEW: Aquaducks show range in self-titled LP

Grab the guy or girl next to you and head to the nearest Aquaducks house show because their soon-to-be-released record will have you grooving all weekend.

Formed from Belmont upperclassmen, The Aquaducks have been hard at work recording their debut full-length while cranking out shows across the Nashville scene, even making a guest performance during Fall Follies 2013. With influences like Phish, Rebelution and Jimi Hendrix, The Aquaducks’ self-titled release combines a healthy blend of jazz, blues, rock and funk that creates one tantalizing LP.

The seven track album kicks off by going all in, in the song “All In.” Welcoming the listener with funky saxophone and crooning male vocals, The Aquaducks take us out for a night on the town, leading to some smoky jazz room jams. The band doesn’t just stop there. On the track “Fuel the Funk,” the sax on sax on sax and keyboards are at its best with licks that will be stuck in your head hours after the record finishes.

With “Lift Me Up,” “Why Can’t You See?” and “New Growth,” the album starts to take a different turn. Slowing down the rhythm and beat, the album changes gears to a blend of soul and reggae while still remaining unrelenting on the saxophone and vocals. “Lift Me Up” is a nice break after the extremely upbeat and highly rhythmic songs and shows The Aquaducks’ ability to change the dynamics and speed across their album.

The band really shows its ability to keep jamming during these tracks by implementing funky guitar licks across solos. “New Growth” also takes it a step further by rapping over fat bass lines.

The Aquaducks’ talent to create music that spans multiple genres is absolutely their strong point. Honestly, they can splash any sort of instrument, rhythm, beat or vocals into any song and make it sound good. You can’t find that in too many bands nowadays.

However, the album does have a few drawbacks.

The vocalist lacks range and often stretches his voice to hit a higher range of notes, causing his consistency across the album to diminish. Background vocals are also lacking, often times conflicting with the guitars and lead vocals with dissonant notes.

The album also has a problem with relying on the saxophone too much. The songs are set up for a huge solo, only to be filled with a wailing saxophone that, while talented, stunts the band’s innovation. They have the capacity and talent to fill those solos with other instruments, and in the future, they should highly consider that.

Bottom Line: The Aquaducks’ self-titled release is an album you should definitely pick up. The saxophone riffs combined with their ability to change up the rhythm and beat at any given moment is a fresh take on Belmont bands.

Rating: 7/10

Favorite Track: “Fuel the Funk”

Check out The Aquaducks’ CD release show on Nov. 7 at 12th & Porter with Roots of a Rebellion and Dynamo. Doors open at 8 p.m. Physical copies of their debut album will be available at the venue, as well as download cards to enjoy.

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