Water Liars at the Poplar Lounge 

This Friday's double-bill at the Poplar Lounge smartly pairs two up-and-coming Southern rock bands, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires and Water Liars.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires hail from Birmingham, Alabama, and rightfully boast a host of influences, from punk rock to country/Southern rock to rhythm and blues, though the group succeeds more when it sticks to the up-tempo, rockier stuff. The band's debut album, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, has been praised by the likes of Rolling Stone, Uncut, and allmusic.com.

For my money, however, the best bet of the night is the opening act, Water Liars (pitctured). The Oxford, Mississippi, outfit offers a more tuneful and collegiate take on the "guitar-and-drums duo" concept than most of that ilk, although I have to say I miss a bass in spots on their latest LP, Wyoming (released by Oxford's Big Legal Mess label, a subsidiary of Fat Possum). But the pop songwriting is undeniably great, as is guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster's and drummer Andrew Bryant's vocal interplay throughout.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires and Water Liars perform Friday, July 26th, at 9 p.m. at the Poplar Lounge. Admission is $7.

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