Tracer have taken enormous leaps during the four years since Spaces In Between, a debut of unmistakable potential, through to the Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin)-helmed El Pistolero and into the present day.
Not only are the Aussie trio now self-producing to an above-average standard, they also project with the sense of self-assurance that can only come from a string of ‘best new band’ awards and a couple of overseas tours.
The ghosts of their influences continue to loom large. Indeed, they’ll perhaps be too intrusive for some. In lesser hands the album’s title track might have been an abject Nirvana rip-off, but Tracer triumph thanks to the vocal exuberance of guitarist Michael Brown and a well-crafted hook.
It’s Brown’s emphatic delivery that helps sidestep several such cagey moments, including Lazy, which strays a little closely into territory pre-owned by Soundgarden and Temple Of The Dog. But as third albums go, Water For Thirsty Dogs has enough oomph to fuel Tracer’s rise.