Portland’s the Harvey Girls make their first contribution to Ball of Wax with “Cool, Free Water,” a noisy, scratchy collage of sound that declares the seemingly self-evident human right for free access to clean drinking water. Vocal soundbites decrying the notion of privatizing water supplies and the humanitarian imperative for free water drift in and out above a burbling cauldron of percussion, bass, phase-y electric guitar and a grab bag of other instruments. These soundbites never give way to proper lead vocals, but I think that’s part of the point of the song – we shouldn’t need some Apollonian ego to declare that people need water, it’s a shared idea. We all know that “corporations are not people” and water is a right, right? “Cool, Free Water” is a well-formed protest against ideas around public goods that could lead to an awfully dystopian tomorrow. Pre-emptive protest is the best protest – thanks Harvey Girls.
The Harvey Girls will join us at Conor Byrne on Friday, October 17th for the Ball of Wax 38 release show.