or perhaps treading water

Wake (Epic)
Emmet Swimming

By Kory Wilcoxson

Emmet Swimming is what I call asleeper band. They don't do anything spectacular or necessarily stand out, but it is impossible not to like at least some of what they do. Wake is most certainly uneven and far from perfect, but the group knows how to write good songs, and that carries them a long way.

Another thing they have going for them is lead singer Todd Watts. His voice is one of the deepest and quirkiest I've heard. He's not a good singer in the classical sense, but he gets the most out of his unusual pipes, and it gives songs like "Jump into the Water" and "Broken Oar" a unique sound that would be hard to match.

The rest of the group is average, with drummer Tamer Eid, bassist Robert Shaw and guitarist Erik Wenberg all ensuring that the sum is greater than the parts. With Watt at the helm, Emmet Swimming stands a chance of staying afloat for awhile.