“Water and God” – All Get Out
Four strong beats on the drum and bang, not two seconds in and we’re delivered right to this song’s big hook, first heard as a synthesizer melody played against a loud, bashy background. When the verse starts, the song retreats–lower volume, itchier vibe–to build the tension that rises as we await the inevitable, triumphant return of the Hook. But wait: more tension first, because when said Hook returns, we initially hear it as a quiet vocal melody against one staccato guitar line. This then adds to the feeling of blessed release when we finally hear the central melody full-fledged, as the driving chorus it was meant to be, at 1:17 (and thereafter).
The melody itself is simple: first, a basic upward progression (the one, three, four, and five notes of the scale) in B minor, then a repeat of the notes with one difference–the first note shifts one whole step down, to the A instead of the B, which magically turns the B minor chord previously outlined into a D major chord (exploiting the tantalizing closeness between any minor key and its relative major). This is not a new trick, but it’s a catchy one. There is nothing much new going on in this song at all and I for one say praise the lord. As noted on Fingertips with some regularity: “new” is a pointless measure of value in music; all that matters is “good.” New does not automatically equal good any more than does good automatically equal new. If only a music critic or two understood this.
All Get Out is a foursome from Charleston, S.C.; the name derives from the phrase “loud as all get out,” which the band uses as its URL. Unlike most bands that strive to be loud, however, these guys still want the music to sound like music, which is another part of this song’s charm. “Water and God” has appeared on both of its first two EPs, most recently a self-titled disc released near the end of 2008 on Favorite Gentlemen Recordings.
MP3 via the SXSW web site, one last nod here to the mammoth festival that wrapped up this past weekend.