Albums Of The Year So Far (pt.2): Featuring The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Captain Black Beard, Drought, St. Prostitute and more…
Note: Drought’s music isn’t exactly readily available to embed on this here website. Still, you can listen to the whole of the Untapped album via a bunch of streams on the band’s site here. Thankfully, Drought uploaded this video of Born Of Stone on to YouTube just a couple of weeks ago. Warning – the clip may not have the biggest budget in the world, but that doesn’t stop it being a real tear-jerker…
1. Drought – Untapped (Blue Ocean Music Group)
Drought might be a bit of a surprise choice for the top slot, but I checked my iPod’s Top 25 Most Played list t’other day and it revealed:
1. One Night Stand – Drought (35 plays); 2. Born Of Stone – Drought (32 plays); 3. Last Words – Drought (31 plays); 4. Pick And Pen – Drought (25 plays); 5. The One – Drought (24 plays); 6. Misterija – Dunja Ilić (22 plays)…
Drawing a discreet veil over position No.6, here’s the scam on Untapped:
Texas four-piece Drought formed in 2001 but it’s taken up ’til now for them to record and release their debut album. Was it worth the wait? Like a sandpaper’d gullet greeting its first ice-cold lager of the day – you betcha.
After a cursory listen you might be tempted dismiss this lot as Nickelback or Shinedown clones. But closer inspection reveals a serious depth to their music, along with an opulent undercurrent reminiscent of classic Pearl Jam. Like many mysterious bands from the Lone Star state, Drought’s music also has an arcane quality that makes them much more than just another bunch of slick, semi-obnoxious US radio rockers.
Blessed with a giant, make that G – I – A – N – T, sound courtesy of Todd Taz Anthony (producer, mixer, engineer of Bang Tango, Dirty Looks, Spinning Chain) and mastered by Anthony Focx (producer, mixer, engineer of Aerosmith, Buckcherry, Ace Frehley), tracks such as Pick And Pen, Look At Me and, especially, Born Of Stone are brooding, simmering tours de force. These are neatly balanced against lighter, more commercial offerings including Highway 16, Because and Wish You Everything.
One Night Stand, meanwhile, is properly sleazy (even though it’s got an opening guitar riff remarkably similar to the one on Frank Marino’s magnum opus He’s Calling). Check out the lyrics: “Who got you on your knees? Who got you begging baby please? Squirming and sweating… I’ve got your pants down and we’ve just met.” Hmm, no hosepipe ban in force here, it seems!
Coming tomorrow: Henry Yates chooses his Top Five Albums Of The Year So Far.