Aquadora, On | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published June 15, 2005 at 3:57 p.m.

(Self-released, CD)

Certain musical artists are gifted enough to produce all aspects of an album -- from writing and singing their own lyrics to playing all the necessary instruments. Trent Reznor kicked off his career in this fashion, and has since become one of the most recognizable names in modern rock.

While Reznor had a fully developed musical vision, however, all Aquadora offer is a series of unintelligible lyrics in an annoying falsetto, set to half-baked riffs and drumbeats.

Aquadora boasts one solitary member named Jonny. Although his latest EP, On, has a brief runtime, it nonetheless showcases his shortcomings as a musician and vocalist. Jonny's range is likewise truncated; he constantly reaches for notes beyond his reach.

Opening track "Colors" makes a poor first impression. An amateur attempt at a ballad, it's stuffed to the brim with pseudo-philosophy and cheeseball spirituality. Aquadora's ode to an unidentified, sought-after person is the kind of thing you expect to hear strummed next to a campfire. The rhythm is epileptic, the refrains tone-deaf and the overall energy lagging.

The album's sonic qualities are similarly deficient. Besides sounding like it was recorded in a basement, Aquadora's haphazard lyrics are upstaged by gratuitous distortion. This production choice obscures Jonny's underdeveloped plucking.

Aquadora's musical journey concludes with a schmaltzy lullaby, which continues to explore Jonny's sensitive side. Lines such as "reach out your arms and run to the ocean" and "you taste like forever," would have been better left in his notebook. One thing's for sure -- the tune seems to go on forever.

Listening to On, I quickly became annoyed with this one-man circus and its five shades of Jonny. Sophomoric lyrics, uninspired musical passages and iffy recording quality make for an unsatisfying record.

Aquadora will perform with Mickey Western and Exit Clov at Club Metronome on June 22.