Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (JPKS!) of Water Liars – Tickets – The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC – February 22nd, 2017

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (JPKS!) of Water Liars

The Evening Muse and "Someone Else" Productions present...

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (JPKS!) of Water Liars

Wed, February 22, 2017

Doors: 10:00 pm / Show: 10:30 pm

The Evening Muse

Charlotte, NC


Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (JPKS!)
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (JPKS!)
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster
Middle child.
Arkansas State Spelling Bee Champion 1996 & 1997.
AAA Member in fair standing.
8+ yrs dishwashing/short order experience.
20+ yrs hammering at songs, singing, playing guitar—most recently in Water Liars.
Hopefully, a friend.

In my mind, Constant Stranger stands as

An argument.
A reckoning.
A reconciliation.
Some kind of understanding.
Something reached by work and luck.With melody and language.
Another step on the road which fades behind as it runs ahead.
A home for memory, gratitude, acceptance, and regret.
Engine exhaust.
Brake dust.
A ship’s wake.
A snake’s skin.
A lover’s sweat.
Blood dried brown.
A sliver of moon.
A strong wind.
The smell of a storm coming, a storm passed.
Fire, burnt to ash at dawn.
Evidence of what was.
Hope for what may be.

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster of the band Water Liars may have a mouthful of a name, but his debut solo album Constant Stranger isn’t nearly as complex. Constant Stranger may not be a life-changing LP, sometimes feeling deceivingly bland at points. Yet don’t get me wrong: Kinkel-Schuster overall has created a winning album, one that feels thoughtfully manufactured with a good deal of effort behind it. While Constant Stranger may not knock the boots off of folk or Americana diehards, they’ll still undeniably enjoy this album. The main qualm I had with this LP is simply that Kinkel-Schuster doesn’t have the most engaging voice in the world, leaning past dreary and into monotonous territory.

However, songs like “Headed South,” the first single off the album, are composed well enough to make them thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. The next track on the 13-song collection, “False Dawn,” shows that Kinkel-Schuster does best when he composes ballads versus up-tempo numbers. “False Dawn” is the apex of Constant Stranger and feels like the closest thing to perfection on the record. “Milky Cradle”’s pure and ingenuous style also gives off a feeling of pain in Kinkel-Schuster’s vocals. When he sings the coda lyric “wonder every day,” there is a small prick of curiosity that overcomes the listener. This is one track where Kinkel-Schuster’s vocals soar, rather than dragging him down.

“Moccasin Bones” on the other hand feels somewhat trite and stale. Once again, Kinkel-Schuster’s monotone doesn’t do him any favors here, though it should be noted that his lyricism is pure beauty.

-Ben Rosner (PASTE)
Venue Information:
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC