Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Dry The River- Weights & Measures EP Review

Getting off the UK's pub circuit and taking the step to the big time often takes more than just good songs and hyping from every blog. The way to really get big is clearly the "Play Every Gig Physically Possible" approach. In recent years this approach has had a revival, with Mumford & Sons excelling in this field. Dry The River have picked up the baton where Mumford left off, and have played for literally everyone. In vans, in shops, in woods, anywhere, Youtube-ing their name brings up tons of sessions, live gigs and interviews. This has all meant that they have become a well oiled live machine, wowing audiences all summer at the festivals.

"Weights & Measures" is the bands first proper EP after just a handful of singles. Nothing on the EP is a surprise and all bar one track have been kicking around in sessions and live for ages. The title track follows Dry The River's formula of starting quiet and building towards a fuck off chorus that'll BLOW YOUR MIND. They really know what they're doing with this whole anthem thing. The delicate falsetto of singer Pete is so distinctive, yet seems so natural. Gentle adding of harmonies, violin, guitar and drums lets his voice get louder till, The Chorus is upon you. Next track "Family" continues in the same vein. Previously called "Family Tree" a re-writes gives it a fresher feel and shows a band constantly pushing forward. Dry The River have been compared so many times to Mumford, but the only similarities seem to be the acoustic guitar. Bolstered by full drums and electric guitar, they sound heavier then any of Mumford's songs and their chorus's MAY even be better. "Bible Belt" is officially released on the EP, although it is only the "Field Recording" version. This is no bad thing however, and this striped back, acoustic version is what got the band noticed. It is a quiet, emotional song but still has that massive chorus. The last track "Thou Art Loosed" has a very different feel. The song feels like a proper country hymn. All of their songs seem to have this feel, but it's brought to it's logical conclusion. Backed only by violin, the song is sung almost as a round, with each member adding his layer of harmony. It's a subtle song that leaves you wondering what century you're actually in. 

The EP shows a band on the brink of possibly becoming huge, but also throwing out weird curveballs for their own amusement. They really deserve to get on bigger stages, the Reading's Festival Republic stage ain't build to hold chorus' as big as these.


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