Music » Band of the Week


Good (Independent)


The title of the Waterband's debut provides the most sterling example of truth in advertising since Kim Fowley released an album called I'm Bad. In fact, this Aurora-based trio (quartet, if you count guest percussionist David Keen) is just a tad shy of great.

For lack of a better way to pigeonhole these guys, we'll call them a jam band. Seems strange to do so, as most of the 18 songs come in at three to five minutes, but there's plenty of high-level musicianship: The guitar work sparkles, the rhythm section is outstanding, and all four bandmates play instruments identified only as "stuff" (horns and woodwinds, mainly), which impart a surprisingly fresh sound.

Where the Waterband is lacking is in the vocal department. David McDougald, Rick Phillips, and Keen can be better served by sticking to their instruments and finding a dynamic singer to frame their skills. Their songwriting is top-of-the-line, blending beauty, edginess, and humor. A gifted set of pipes would lift this contingent onto the A list of eclectic bands. They're so close.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.