Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Drull - Chances Taken

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

'Chances Taken'; it's an intriguing title for an album if you think about it, and probably wouldn't be the first that springs to mind when deciding on possible names for your new LP. Does this mean that Philadelphia duo Drull are trying to tell us something here? Is it a warning that we should be wary that a few tracks might be a departure and that we may not expect/like them? It's difficult to fathom and only they will know the answer, but listening to this record more and more you do begin to realise that, on occasion, they do step outside their comfort zone and maybe try one or two new tricks. By this we mean new to them, there's nothing on 'Chances Taken' that could be considered groundbreaking.

That said, you probably only find a couple of genuinely groundbreaking albums released each year. Drull aren't a band to sit around, this is their third album in six months. A quite astonishing work rate, and if this is to be maintained then changes are a must. Regurgitating the same old ideas every couple of months will quickly yield diminishing returns. When we reviewed 'LOA' we described these guys as chillwave, but also said that they seemed to be gradually progressing away from that well worn blueprint. 'Chances Taken' is further proof of this. The problem that eventually befell chillwave is that it wasn't strong enough, it was too watered-down and quickly lost its flavour. This album is chilled, no question, but more focus seems to be on the beats.

Here Drull introduce bigger beats and divert their sound into more robust ambient areas. 'E.R.A.', 'Arcadia' and 'Phoenix' being prime examples of the reason subwoofers were invented, and the choppy 'Woodland' offers some variety. They do get a little more daring with the electronics too, 'The Green Light' and 'Horizon being of particular note. 'Thrift Soul' and 'Still Here' are two other tracks worth giving a shout to. The album does suffer from being a little overlong and and sometimes repetitive; 'Out Of Breath' and 'Linguistics' probably wouldn't be missed, but the way things are headed these issues may well be addressed soon. Perhaps the next record will introduce vocals and an even more eclectic range of sounds. Chances taken? Well only a few, but enough to show signs of progression.

Drull's website

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