Les Racquet - Be Water My Friend CD

Brooklyn-based Les Racquet’s newly released EP is an exciting introduction to this power trio, a group that exists in a realm somewhere outside the limits of most power trios that likely come to mind.

Les Racquet’s three-part vocal harmonies immediately set them apart from the fold. These guys can rock with the best, but their ability to blend multi-layered vocal textures into this strategy is a rarity in their game. Additionally, their musicianship is too vast to allow them to be strictly categorized, bringing textures based in jazz, funk, and pop to their rock and roll roots.

Being an EP release, this is surely just a hint of what this young but upwardly mobile band is capable of. How rarely does one encounter an album without noticeable flaws? I’m comfortable saying that this is one of those albums. Track by track, Be Water My Friend is a joy! At times energetic, and at times appropriately sedate, Les Racquet has found a formula that warrants continuation.

“Bruce Li” allows the band to just rock out, highlighting each of the members’ skills at their instruments, and their attack is unrestrained. This is the only instrumental track, and although their singing is above the bar throughout the album, I enjoy hearing the pure musicianship these guys can harness. Les Racquet’s formula is tied to their ability to sing/harmonize, but I would be excited to experience more of their adeptness at communication purely through music.

The final track (“I Know You”) is a tamer, more plaintive beast. It’s a song about the loss of connection we all experience with particular people along the way. The band painfully sings, “We used to have so much fun together.” A band should be topically well-rounded, and Les Racquet is exactly that. Every song cannot be a party, and who wants an album full of downer tracks? This trio hits all of the marks.

Topically, this isn’t a fluff album. The songs are rich and the vocal qualities pour from a three piece that can actually sing! Too many bands sing, seemingly because they think they are required to. Les Racquet is the total package, in that their vocals are high in quality, and their skills on their particular instruments are as polished and thoughtful as they come. I’m excited to say that I’ve found a new band to watch out for! You’re going to want to check them out too.

- Jeremy Sanchez