Tidewater Grain: Here on the Outside

Tidewater Grain
Here on the Outside
Warner Bros.

Tidewater Grain adds a bit of heart and integrity into the hard rock scene, and that’s refreshing compared to the ever growing Korn and Limp Bizkit sound-alikes that keep popping up. Most louder-based rock groups like to shock listeners with an extreme message of rage or destruction, but that is specifically a route Tidewater Grain has been committed to steering away from.

“Lyric writing is the most clinical process in the world,” says the group’s vocalist Kevin McNamara. “To me, you only get one chance to make your lyrics stick and sound smart, to make them mean something. I want to be able to tell people what the songs are about and have them mean something, otherwise you’re insulting the people that really do get into the lyrics.” Although that philosophy may be against the grain of songs like Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff,” the group can still explode with fire in their sound. They’ve hit the road for the last year leading up to the album’s release, and have shared the stage with Kid Rock, Three Doors Down, and Sevendust. Take for instance the testosterone-induced “American Star,” which focuses on the desire to fit in and find fame throughout life. Similar in style is “Pedal and the Brake” and the destined to be hit “One Man Show.” That song flashes back to the past for a 1980s American rock flavor in the sprit of John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen.

“One Man Show” also has a touching meaning of McNamara looking back on his family growing up, particularly to his fathers and uncles, and the closeness within the family. The track is moving in the sense that it looks at the legacy each family member left behind while also showing the pain of old age and death knocking at one’s door.

Not all songs are as deep though. One lightweight in content, although not in sound, is the album’s lead off tune “Here on the Outside.” The song flashes back to McNamara and guitarist John Daly’s high school football years and the typical adolescent drama that coincides with such times. Although such a story may pale in comparison to some of the disc’s other songs, sound wise it serves as a power house opening and makes a great introduction of the band to new fans.

Tidewater Grain will have their shot at winning over the masses this fall as they embark on a tour with shock rocker Alice Cooper.