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Sweet Water

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Album Review

Emerging as one of the 62 bands signed out of the Northwest during the post-Nirvana explosion, Seattle's own Sweet Water signed to Atlantic Records in 1992. Fronted by charismatic front man Adam Czeisler and the songwriting team of guitarists Dudley Taft and Rich Credo, the band created a little buzz for itself in the Seattle region prior to releasing its self-titled debut in 1993. Produced by Don Gilmore (the man responsible for engineering a host of classic alternative records, including Pearl Jam's Ten), the album was mixed down by Tim Palmer (too many accomplishments to list here), Sweet Water was the classic case of band trying to find its sound. Part neo-Guns n' Roses, part straight up rock & roll with a psychedelic twist, the album is held back by it's polite production and sometime sophomoric songwriting. Notwithstanding, there are a few highlights here and there, including the album's single, "Everything Will Be Alright." However, if one listens to the album from start to finish, it's clear that the band is at its strongest when given the room to stretch its arrangements. A good example of this is on the seven minute "Where Has the Day Gone." Entrenched in '70s British guitar rock, the track is a melancholic ode to wasted time, wasted opportunities, and is an obvious metaphor for drug addiction. The song comes into focus with its chorus: "When your day's gone, and your faith's gone/there's no more where that came from/when your day's gone, and your money's gone/and there's no more from where your stole that from...." Other tracks like "Crush," "King of '79," and "Sleep" are all okay, but nothing extraordinary. The album signs off with the interesting Mother Love Bone-ish "Like a Child" (which inexplicably nicks its guitar solo straight off "Sweet Child of Mine.") Even though the album met with little commercial acceptance, the band always did a good job on the live front, eventually snagging a handful of dates with then rock giants Alice In Chains. For a better understanding, check out the band's sophomore effort, Superfriends.

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