AS Presents: Aqua Stallion at Storke Tower

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Photo by Jonathan Lara

Jonathan Lara

Contributing Writer

The Associated Students (AS) Program Board held another weekly Noon Storke Show at Storke Plaza last Wednesday. Many local acts have gotten the chance to showcase their talent and perform in front of students, including pop singer-songwriter Yu Ishii and, most recently, the psychedelic and garage rock band Aqua Stallion.

Although the band officially formed in 2018, Aqua Stallion members began playing together when they attended UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) as students. Over the years, the group has steadily developed a strong Isla Vista (I.V.) fanbase. For a relatively new band, Aqua Stallion have amassed hundreds of streams across platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud. Since their creation, the group has gone on to perform in the garages and backyards of nearby I.V. and Goleta residences.  

The audience watched with anticipation as the group played an original song called “Fine Crackers and Fancy Cheese.” Released in June 2021, the song started off with a one minute, slow-burn electric guitar intro, soon erupting into an explosive rush of acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. Singer and guitarist Liam Searson sang in a deep, haunting voice, as students sipped their Yerba Mates and bounced their heads to the music.  

The group’s chemistry is undeniable. Throughout the set, members frequently looked at each other to ensure the synchronization of their performance. Smiles were exchanged among Aqua Stallion, who looked like they were having a genuinely good time performing at their alma mater. Students continued to express their support, with one individual shouting “Love you Charlie!” to Aqua Stallion’s drummer, Charlie Kernamp.   

Aqua Stallion unleashed a certain vulnerability in their performance. Their music packed a punch with raw vocals, dynamic instrumentations, and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Speakers blasted across Storke Tower, allowing listeners to become engrossed in Aqua Stallion’s landscape. One notable highlight was watching the band end “Fine Crackers” with a rock-infused drum outro, reminiscent of popular 1960s psychedelic rock bands like Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd.  

Aqua Stallion provides a psychedelic groove that is both catchy and enchanting. Their cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” was also a pleasant surprise, and showcased the band’s ability to take inspiration from multiple genres. 

Aqua Stallion’s talent lies in their ability to combine their signature psychedelic and garage rock sound with a Southern California twist. Audrey Meiman, bassist and singer, has a unique way of delivering whimsical lines in “Shark Song,” detailing how a shark bit off “[his] toes” in the ocean. Audiences chuckled throughout the song, a nod to the group’s grasp on ocean culture in I.V. An instant sense of connection formed between the band and their listeners 

Not all of Aqua Stallion’s songs were perfectly polished, but the band made up for it with their authenticity. Aqua Stallion truly came into their own near the end of the set, where they jammed out while exchanging solo sections. As the group finished their performance, the audience rushed into applause and Searson thanked the crowd for coming to their show. It was great to hear a local band that might be unfamiliar to some UCSB students perform. They continue to have a niche presence that is embraced by the I.V. community.

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