This pen to paper stuff feels very odd. Thankfully, the first band I decide to review in far too long is one that’s right up my street. Two piece Medway based emo outfit Drawstring are, quite frankly, wondrous. I had the pleasure of reviewing their third release “Three”. Now I am reviewing their fourth release, “Cool,” which was released on 2nd December on CD, Vinyl – and even Tape.
I’ve been a fan of emo since the ripe age of 12-13. I went through all the stages. From dying my hair every colour I could think of, to painting my nails and writing dire poetry. 13-14 years on and the only parts that have stuck with me are the fringe and the music. It’s what I’ve always wanted to play and be a part of. Quite simply put, I love this genre and will of course try my best to be completely biased unbiased in my review.
Everyone aboard. First stop, track one (who’d have thought it).
Our first taste of Drawstring’s “Cool” is “Melon”. Majestic guitar and drums fill the air like a guy chased by the clouds of his vape. It’s thick and tastes sweet. Technically savvy guitar riffs with a wicked effect that straight away makes me feel at home. As an opener track “Melon” is full of sexy energy and really lets you know what you are letting yourself in for.
Now I’m hoping that these next sentences don’t come across too wanky but when I reviewed this band previously I couldn’t wait for the next release, I believed that in no time at all they would evolve into something even better. I stick by that – but I also hope that they never grow up. The subject matter of these songs and how the band delivers them is full of fun, life and innocence. A band not taking themselves too seriously always makes me feel more at home. It doesn’t detract from the songs one bit; in my eyes it enhances them.
“Little Conversation” is our next track. Vocals are on point and with the supporting harmonies it sounds bloody lush. It feels like the two members of this band have been friends for years and years. The kind of friends that have a solid natural harmony between each other, without even trying. I could be completely wrong of course and they might take hours perfecting their art but if that is the case it doesn’t come across in the songs at all. My main highlight of this song is the final breakdown. For me the song brings up images of addiction. A subject close to many people hearts and with simple but emotional lyrics such as “Drag me home again. Eighteen years old and I’m a fucking mess” this is a song that will no doubt speak to so many people.
“Cool” is a tune. No ifs or butts. It’s a fucking tune.
The single chord verses and explosive chorus of “Ache” feels right. With “Weekend” & “Way Home” both coming next, “Weekend’s” breakdown really stands out. With the drummer taking sticks to the kit itself and the guitarist filling the space with a delicious picked guitar section. Prominent in these three songs are the riff interludes; very catchy and technically tidy. These three numbers haven’t got as much intensity or energy as the first half of the album but it’s a pleasant and welcome interlude. “Way home” has really atmospheric gang vocals. A real head nodder.
The “Chicago Towns” riff reminds me of Californian instrumental band “Chon”, maybes it’s the tone of the guitar or just the riff itself – but either way, kudos. I’m unsure on how old the members of Drawstring are but I know that they are younger than me. With talent like this, writing music like this, at this age, the future is indeed bright. With “What I want” I was left foot tapping my foot out. This is the longest song on the album by a country mile. I did wonder if they could write fully fledged 4 minute songs. Just in case you are wondering. They bloody can. At about 1:50 minute into the song it breaks down into a very gentle, almost lullaby-like trance. The tinkering on the cymbals, NOM NOM!
“Johnny B Bad” is good. More than that actually. It’s a lovely closer to a really great album. The whole song builds with the repeating words “I want to the extremes to find a way. The next morning, I threw it away” layers upon layers fill your ears until the last bars, which are filled with just an acoustic guitar and the lovely voices of Drawstring.
Normally I would have mentioned something about the track lengths being mostly short. Most of this album has songs that are roughly two minutes, if not shorter in length, but this just felt right from a listener’s point of view. Bands are known to draw out songs and Drawstring didn’t do this (even though it’s their namesake) Instead Drawstrings album has such a quality flow that most of the time I don’t notice that we are indeed in a new song and by the time I did notice, the album had finished and I’m ready to press play again. This has happened to me a few times, with Touché Amore’s album “Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me” coming to mind. The guitar throughout the album is perfectly suited to the style. Every riff felt absolutely filthy in my ear and I am a dirty one. Throughout the songs the drums are banging (GET IT?!?!) In all seriousness you need to purchase this album and go and see them live. This two-piece will not disappoint.
I’d like more please.