The Water Runs Backwards Here throws massive amounts of fuel on the spark created by the band’s 2020 introductory EP.
Saint John’s Surface Wounds return with their debut full-length album, The Water Runs Backwards Here, a welcomed follow up to the group’s debut EP The Tower which arrived not long after COVID swept the planet. At the time, new music proved to be the optimism many of us needed to hear and feel. The Tower proved to be a massive statement and a welcomed introduction to the latest in a long line of heavy Saint John bands.
Earlier this year it seemed as though Surface Wounds was a thing of the past when a majority of the group’s members revived Loveover, an older, slightly softer sounding project that had been on the backburner for three years prior. But with the release of The Water Runs Backwards Here, it would seem Surface Wounds have again become a priority, which is good news for lovers of loud, aggressive music.
Unlike Loveover’s mix of pop-punk and emo influences, Surface Wounds go hard. Really hard, in fact. Blending bleak song titles, dark imagery, and downright ferocious energy with masterfully constructed songs that reek of hardcore genius, Surface Wounds have created a unique place for their music to exist within. The world of Surface Wounds feels like a mix of other-worldly sci-fi horror and hometown honesty. While the album’s title (and that of the earlier EP for that matter) sounds like something borrowed from the pages of a Stephen King novel – and can easily be enjoyed as such – The Water Runs Backwards Here is also a nod to the city’s Reversing Falls where ocean tides meet with the freshwater current of the Wolastoq River to create a massive force of natural energy, much like the band itself. Add to all of this a relentless series of tones, textures, unexpected melodies and blistering metal core intensity and you have the audio equivalent of a Jantje Friese/Baran bo Odar mini-series on your hands. Or, in your ears, as the case may be.
Two bleeding thumbs up.