I love mandolins. So hearing one after only a few moments of the
first song on The Drowning Men's new album All Of The Unknown
automatically told me I had to give this band a good listen.
"Lost In A Lullaby" is like Mumford & Sons and
Flogging Molly in a blender. Slim on the melodies but heavy
on the power are vocals that give off a rousing speech feeling and
mix well with the repetitive marching band percussion beats that keep
the song going. One place you'd never imagine a rock album to take
you is a carnival, but when the sound effects of a carousel start
the song "Bored In A Belly", that's exactly where you go.
The basic rhythm from that sound effect carries through via an electric
keyboard, but the base of the song is filled with a lead guitar finessing
some great classic rock chords and a few bass harmonies chiming in.
Every once in a while you can hear a Theremin pop up, a sound that
only adds to the whole theme of it all.
One of the most impressive intros can be found in "Questioning
(A Big Ole Sham)". A guitar strum echoes while lead notes are
danced across and a snare drum is used to create a rumbling thunder
effect. Harmonizing guitars eventually begin repeating the same progression,
letting the Vampire Weekend-esque vocals be heard. And then
all chaos breaks loose for each chorus when all the instruments thrash
out their notes and the vocals turn to an almost shout. "I ask
the ruler" becomes a softly repeated phrase that, when paired
with a few simple chord progressions, provides a nice pause to that
craziness. For the final song on the record we're taken back to that
carnival, but this time with a very simplistic music box melody on
the piano. Vocals jump between loud proclamations and delicate whispers
all the while complimenting the piano nicely. Though the lyrics speak
of going somewhere better, one can't help but feel their heart break
slightly with the somber tone.
The Drowning Men offer a ton of variety on their new album and while
you should be able to find something you enjoy, you may not be able
to find more than one.
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