angeltape

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Drahla

angeltape

Captured Tracks

Apr 03, 2024 Web Exclusive By Dom Gourlay Bookmark and Share


Five years is a long time in music, which in some cases can only be a good thing. Take experimental noise-rock combo Drahla for instance. Having released their debut album, Useless Coordinates, back in 2019 to a fanfare of critical acclaim, it seemed like the only trajectory was up. Coupled with the band’s consistently frenetic live shows, Drahla quickly earned a reputation as one of the most exciting bands on the planet. But then came silence.

Well, not quite. A combination of logistical moves dictated by personal and professional circumstances gave Drahla the opportunity to regroup and then re-emerge with arguably their finest collection of songs to date. While founder members Luciel Brown (voice/guitar), Rob Riggs (bass) and Michael Ainsley (drums) remain, the addition of second guitarist Ewan Barr, plus regular contributor Chris Duffin on saxophone, has taken their angular musings on an altogether discordant journey that doesn’t follow any given template.

Indeed, Brown’s distinctive vocals make songs like “Under the Glass” and “Lipsync” instantly recognizable as Drahla compositions—which of course, is never a bad thing. The added mélange of sonic mayhem Duffin and Barr add to the already potent mix makes angeltape a melting pot of aural belligerence worthy of the record’s main inspiration, This Heat.

Where its predecessor bristled in a no wave furor like an embryonic Sonic Youth, angeltape is the sound of a band maturing in public. Coming to terms with themselves and adapting to their surroundings, wherever they may be. It’s also a record steeped in personal trauma, with Brown describing angeltape quite aptly as “controlled chaos.”

Former single, and song in three parts, “Default Parody” pushes its creators to the limits, while eerie instrumental “A” and the piano-led “Venus” offer an insight into Drahla’s ever-changing moods.

For a record that’s taken so long to happen (and many thought probably wouldn’t), angeltape is a triumphant return and worth every second of the excessively long wait. (www.drahla.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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