Thursday, February 5, 2015

Black Water Rising at Irving Plaza

Rob Traynor
Brooklyn-based Black Water Rising has been playing hard rock in New York area music clubs since 2006. Vocalist/guitarist Rob Traynor spent two years writing the songs that would appear on the band's 2008 debut album. The band built a following through a video for the single “Brother Go On” and radio play on Sirius Satellite’s Octane station. Black Water Rising's second and most recent album is 2013's Pissed and Driven. The band presently consists of Traynor, guitarist Dennis Kimak, bassist Oddie Mclaughlin and drummer Mike Meselsohn.

At Irving Plaza tonight, Black Water Rising proved itself to be a contender in New York's under-the-radar hard rock scene. Performing a brief set of eight songs (four from the debut album, two from the later album and two unreleased songs), Traynor sang his dark blue-collar lyrics with gutsy, full-throated passion. Meanwhile, the musicians polished the songs with searing guitar licks, gritty riffs and a thick anchoring bottom. Fat grooves like the powering riff in "Dance with the Devil"  and "No Halos" were as heavy as metal, but with accessible melodies and bridges that amplify Black Water Rising's radio potential. If hard rock fans are open to post-grunge grooves, Black Water Rising is poised to lead the way.

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