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ALBUM REVIEW: Drahla ‘Useless Coordinates’ A Chaotic But Pleasurable Debut From The Genre Spanning Trio.

‘[‘Useless Coordinates’] is an album without boundaries, an album that every track spans multiple genres whilst feeling very post-modern’

Drahla caught radio attention with their singles ‘Pyramid Estate’ and ‘Stimulus For Living’ which managed to master difficult the territory of being complex whilst accessible. ‘Useless Coordinates’ continues in this vein and is an album without boundaries, an album that every track spans multiple genres whilst feeling very post-modern and relevant amongst the chaotic modern post-punk scene first painted by acts Fat White Family and now the newcomer giants Fontaines DC.

‘[Opening track] ‘Gilded Cloud’ [begins] by catching the emotions of the listener not just their ears.’

Starting with a drone sounding minor key chord and loose drum roll Drahla’s ‘Gilded Cloud’ opens by catching the emotions of the listener not just their ears; where typically albums (which don’t have intros) start in song, ‘Gilded Cloud’s intro feels like it’s an intentional scene-setter for what’s next. As the tracks intro the stabs of guitar literally scream the once contagious math-rock genre; as listeners we’re excited but on first play confused.

‘With repeated listens ‘Useless Coordinates’ sound begins to be absorbed by your consciousness like a child who grew up on horror films, it’s discomfort becomes the norm, it’s abrasion becomes comfort.’

With repeated listens ‘Useless Coordinates’ sound begins to be absorbed by your consciousness like a child who grew up on horror films, it’s discomfort becomes the norm, it’s abrasion becomes comfort. It’s impossible to know where the albums direction would have taken the band without the influence and contribution of Chris Duffin of XAM Duo who’s intentionally uncomfortable and at times slightly tuneless saxophone layers most tracks. It’s apparent Chris’ influence is pivotal for the bands success and it feels probable he will be a lasting contributor.

‘Luciel’s natural vocal delivery speaks as a person who could put a matter of fact tone onto even the most horrific topics, a lilt that makes the eager to listen but concerned as to what they may hear.’

Tracks including ‘React/Revolt’ musically could fit in Fugazi’s back catalogue without Chris’s cacophony and Luciel Brown’s distinctive vocal. Sprechgesang vocals are quite prevalent in music right now but Luciel’s feminine tone focusing on her words being spoken rather than modern ‘lazy rap’ delivery has a hauntingly endearing effect; Luciel’s natural vocal delivery speaks as a person who could put a matter of fact tone onto even the most horrific topics, a lilt that makes the listener eager to but concerned as to what they may hear.

‘The minimalistic album artwork designed by band members Rob Riggs and Luciel Brown appeals to the inquisitive music fan that won’t be disappointed with their reward.’

The minimalistic album artwork designed by band members Rob Riggs and Luciel Brown appeals to the inquisitive music fan that won’t be disappointed with their reward. At 10 tracks long ‘Useless Coordinates’ isn’t a long album but approaching so many styles could easily drain even the most adventurous listener; ‘Useles Coordinates’ is an album that feels oxymoronic to describe as restrained but Drahla have carefully chosen song choice, order and sonic quality to interest the listener without overwhelming them. We’re yet to learn how Drahla will bring their work to the live arena but it feels an album designed for emotive performance and we’re excited for their upcoming May tour.

8/10

Words: James Wadsworth



Underscore Part 3

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