To an onlooker, the jam-band subculture seems to have the ability to tap a curious frequency that makes an 11-minute song a melodic gospel — however frantic or droning. Perhaps that’s due to mind-altering substances, but — rarely — a band is talented enough to gain even the most sober skeptic’s attention.
Like water, groove-rock quartet Aqueous moves fluidly through a flood of genres to create a special sound that quenches anyone’s thirst.
“Musically and non-musically I know what they’re going to do, just because we’ve spent so much time together,” David Loss (guitar, vocals) says about the band’s eerily in-sync creativity. “That just continues to grow year after year.”
The four musicians use an unseen and unspoken language while performing, a tool they’ve been honing since high school in 2006 in Buffalo, New York. This invisible force strings together the melodies of Loss, Mike Ganzter (guitar, vocals) and Evan McPhaden (bass) with the dynamic beats of Rob Houk (drums). Through tempo and key changes, genre hops and dramatic hooks, the boys never cease to create finely crafted tunes.
This connection takes time, Loss says, but acute attention to composing the perfect jam is the foundation of Aqueous’ success. “We want to take all the egos out. I don’t need to have a five-minute solo if the song doesn’t need that,” he says. “If that means I’m playing the same note for an entire song, then, hey, that’s what I’ve got to do. It’s about creating the best art that we can.”
Aqueous is on tour for its 2018 album, Color Wheel, alongside fellow funky band Big Something. Get your flailing, swaying groove on with the bands 9 pm Wednesday, Feb. 20, at WOW Hall; tickets $15 in advance and $20 day of. — Kelsey Anne Rankin