The Gandharvas – Kicking in the Water

This album is from 1995, but I was just introduced to this band, and this – the middle album – was my favourite of the three. The Gandharvas rode the 90’s alternative wave for a little while, but not out of the 90’s. I’d be surprised if you didn’t recognize their 1997 single, Downtime.  That was off their final album, which seemed to employ more distorted guitars, and less whimsy, putting the sound a little closer to other bands of the time. I liked Kicking in the Water because it sounded like a more varied and drew from a unique mix of influences.

When I first heard this album, I was immediately reminded of the lighter and more whimsical side of Faith No More, and Beautiful Freak era Eels, with the almost talking, hooky vocal style; and jazzy instrumentation. The vocals are similar to those of other singers who take a nod from Axl Rose, but tone it down and chill the eff out. Guitars and pianos are the most prominent instruments on most songs, but the emphasis seems to be more on the groove and atmosphere created by the mix of instruments as a backdrop for the vocals as opposed to focusing on any specific instrument.

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I am going to let the music speak for itself this week, I kept trying to write things for the songs, but I seemed to be only referencing music styles I don’t really have a handle on, so that would be pretty useless innit?

I don’t know what to put in here this week, so I’ll put this link. That song is awesome, and the Gandharvas feels like a much better, more  thought out, more musical, less ridiculous version of Wheatus. But I’ve only really heard that one song, so I am probably being unfair to Wheatus. I’m sorry Wheatus, keep the rock alive.

If you liked the 90’s, this album is up your alley for sure. If you only liked the grungy, screamy, aspects of the 90’s then maybe not so much. I’m talking more the Blind Melons, Faith No Mores, No Doubts, Janes Addictions, Soul Asylums, Presidents of the United States of Americas, Eels, Gin Blossoms, Marvelous 3s (and all those other sugary but scuzzy pop bands that were around). Even if that makes no sense to you, listen to this album, it’s good.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying going back and listening to all these 90’s bands that were not quite so angsty as those that tended to carry the flag for the decade of my youth. All the less angry sounding bands were probably just covering up the depression with sugar instead of venting their anger, but it makes me happy now, so I shall give them a cheer-up high five through time.


One thought on “The Gandharvas – Kicking in the Water

  1. Anonymous says:

    I still like Sold For A Smile best. That's a classic album.

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