Monday, March 5, 2012

A short piece about Dry the river's debut album Shallow bed

Here's a self indulgent little secret: I hear far more music than I actually write about on this blog. The reason I don't write about everything is because a) I can't be arsed and b) if I don't like something, I generally don't go the hack (I make the odd exception though when I'm particularly outraged) . I think writing damning articles about music is far too easy and it's much harder to write positively on the virtues of a record. Not that I want to be gushing or sycophantic but the internet is already filled with snark and a trillion reasons to hate Nickelback, I don't need to add to that chatter and don't need to attack music I don't like (hence no Lana Del Rey article). However, with Dry the River I face a small dilemma because I like their potential more than I like their record.

I was put onto them by a friend at work and must admit I thought No rest (above) sounds pretty great (especially the build to 1:40 and from there onwards) so I've listened to their debut album a few times (here). This is where I get into trouble because to me it sounds (superficially) like they have three major points of reference - Jeff Buckley (good), Radiohead (who doesn't?) and Mumford and Sons (unfortunate). So essentially they have embraced wide screen arena rock romanticism with a folk base and I'm not sure it works that well but there is so much on this album that has the potential to be great. Unfortunately, the folk elements don't always gel and they occasionally come across like a second rate Radiohead (ie Snow Patrol). They seem to be better off when they're rocking out. Anyhow, I think there's enough on this album to like if you have a passing interest in this kind of music or those bands. I figure they're either going to be truly great on their next album or they will be the biggest band in the world by this time next month - it's hard to know...


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