Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Droves - Out Of Herself

During the course of listening to Brooklyn based The Droves’ debut album, Out Of Herself, there were times when I noticed that lead vocalist Christian Gibbs sounded like Tom Yorke from Radiohead. At other moments, he sounded like Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes. There were even times when it sounded like Neil young had been channeled into Gibbs’ soul. At all times, though, Gibbs’ voice sounded amazing.

Opening with the astonishing three pack of hits “Mackenzie,” “Plexi And Tandem,” and “Shelia,” Out Of Herself immediately pulled me into its sound vortex and forced me to not only pay closer attention to this album, but it also caused a few hits of the repeat button. It was quite a while before I got to the fourth track of the record, the cool titled “All Lies Begin With I.” While not as strong as the first three tracks, “All Lies Begin With I” is still a decent song on its own.

Unfortunately, Out Of Herself dips a little after that. As noted, “All Lies Begin With I” is not as solid as the lead tracks and the following song, “Tiny Skin,” lacks the initial wow factor that the opening three songs contained. The album shifts focus from beautiful melodic rock to new wave, harder, punk rock. The guitar work is still solid and the vocals are of course grand, but the sudden shift in the music had me rethinking my overall review of Out Of Herself.

The disc course corrects on the next track, “Agatha.” This is a funk fueled, jazz infused, fun fest of a song. “Dying Fits Of Laughter,” which follows “Agatha,” blends the initial melodic rock with the latter punk sound to form a hybrid of the two styles that is reminiscent of Weezer. These songs are just as strong as the openers and had me once again seeing what a grand album Out Of Herself really is.

The songs accelerate from there. Title track, “Out Of Herself,” is not only the longest song on the disc, it is also one of the best. A sweeping wave of harmonic bliss fills this song and thrusts it into the ionosphere where the best radio waves are transmitted. This melancholy melody is a superb treat that shows the solid work of The Droves in all its glory.

“Wasted” picks up where “Out Of Herself” left off and competes with the previous track for best song on the album. A hard rocker with a steady beat, “Wasted” is a gritty anthem about the desire to have something now and not understanding why things don’t always go your way. It’s a tragic tale of not having had much throughout life and growing tired of living in that vein. “Wasted” is a great song about seizing the day and moving beyond road blocks and barriers whether they are personally implemented or negative outside forces.

Overall, Out Of Herself is a fantastic record that falls one or two songs shy of being a perfect release. However, the near perfectness of this debut album is enough to make it high and buzz worthy. With a blend of dynamic, entertaining songs and the talents of lead singer/guitarist Christian Gibbs at the helm, The Droves have debuted in style. If you are looking for some real sweet ear candy to kick off your weekend, this would be a great album to play.

Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Plexi And Tandem
All Lies Begin With I
Tiny Skin
Dying Fits Of Laughter
Out Of Herself
Better Than You
Then They Were Three

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