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High Water 

When: Fri., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $10
“These guys sound like no time has passed since Husker Du, The Replacements, and Dinosaur Jr were influential on the alternative-leaning mainstream.” That’s the accurate assessment by Brooklyn Vegan of San Mateo’s High Water, which traffics in Telecaster guitar-driven earnestness and “whiskey-soaked awesomeness” taken straight from the Nineties. Singer Neal Sharma does double duty in the hardcore band Ghostlimb, and one can detect the punk rock aesthetic in some of the driving riffs on High Water’s forthcoming, self-titled debut. But these songs are crafted in the traditional sense, with hooky melodies, building dynamics, and prominent lyrics. Sharma’s semi-scratchy voice lends yearning and world-weariness to both ballads and upbeat rockers. In an era of increasingly louder, heavier, and more produced music, the band’s stripped-down approach feels especially welcome. See High Water this week at 924 Gilman (924 Gilman St., Berkeley), with Anne, Loma Prieta, and Dangers.
— Kathleen Richards

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