I hate that feeling.
The feeling you get when you listen to a band, and you know they sound almost identical to somebody else, but you'll be damned if you can figure out what band that is. A Burning Water pose just that dilemma with We Can See the Sky from Here. It may be a stretch, albeit not a big one, but there's some heavy Glassjaw influence instilled into the album, maybe with a bit of flare represented in Endicott's better moments.
Although elements of hardcore abound, the band mostly manages to stray far away from the sound most consider hardcore, opting instead for sporadic bursts of raw power and intensity that blow the speakers out. While they clearly understand the dynamics of hardcore, A Burning Water inject far more rhythm and melody than the average Victory records band circa `95. Hectic tempos and straining vocals find the band just as at home as their lower key moments, where Brian Link's vocals are more important than any other aspect to be found. However, songs like "This Is a Test" find a much more volatile version of A Burning Water, a version ready to combust at each change of tempo and each new chord progression. The following effort, "Retract," shows a band with some obvious pent up aggression, and they let some of it out all the while writing a song brimming with choruses.
The problem with the album is that nothing is particularly worth remembering after the duration.
While it's on, the disc is full of moments that seem great at the time, but two songs down the road, you'd be hard pressed to remember what you just heard. The exception to that rule is the standout track, "These Ruins," where A Burning Water absolutely explodes into a ball of fury. It starts as a pretty run-of-the-mill rock song that builds and builds until Brian Link's vocal chords rip from his throat as he screams as loudly as possible until a relatively quiet interlude, pulled back into the chaos by a solid breakdown and more of those shredding screams.
A Burning Water aren't reinventing the wheel, or really even improving upon it for that matter, but the album does present some solid post-hardcore, with good instrumentation and better vocals.
I hate that feeling.