The Drink – Company – Album released 01/12/14 on Melodic – Written by Tim Moss
It’s a rare thing to find an unsigned band so complete that Rough Trade stock their first three EPs, but that’s just what happened this year for The Drink. Company is a collected version of these EPs. With that kind of initial hype, it’s understandable why so many of the reviews highlight their promise. Promising is an accurate way of describing this compilation.
Company’s discordant timbre and enjambment-heavy lyrics carry that immutable bohemian experimentation reminiscent of Sun Kil Moon’s lyrical compositions. Only a lot more upbeat and, on balance, a little less developed. The opener, Microsleep is emblematic of their bittersweet intentions. Danceable, quirky, exact yet fitting to the subject of isolation.
What is striking of a debut this early on in their career, is the way each track flows with vocalist Dearbhla Minogues pace. And this is done in such an uncontrived manner, it’s surprising she was the final inclusion in the bands foundation. They birthed themselves from the migration of Dearbhla Minogue to London from Dublin, and her subsequent meeting with guitarist Daniel Fordham and Bassist David Stewart, then in instrumental band Fighting Kites. That probably explains how well developed their compositions were. At The Weekend, which was earlier released as a single, denotes this. A seamless relationship between Minogue, Stewart and Fordham’s respective roles.
At times, there’s an uneasiness to this balance. Where their pop sensibilities take over, in the second EP bloc (originally from the creatively titled Two) is where the band falls at its weakest.
With good instrumental bands, a whole album can merge together with a similarly structured theme. This doesn’t happen with Company for obvious reasons; it wasn’t developed as an album. You get the feeling that they could drastically improve when they find their feet in a solid project. If this is what they can do with four track blocks of EPs, then I look forward to their first album. It is nonetheless fantastic.
“I try to invoke feelings of familiarity and imagery in songs because that is what I love about hearing good lyrics. For them to invoke something that you recognise and makes you feel a certain way but you’re not quite sure why.” This liminal sensation is frequent throughout the album evoking bands like The Mouldy Peaches, Captain Beefheart.
But inspiration stems from, as Minogue says “People and places shape the sound – I get ideas from watching people do their thing and also looking at billboards thinking that everything is fucked,” this nihilism can be found in much of their music, which evokes a cynical analysis of the crazy world outside.
This progressive assertiveness is what shapes the foundations of their jangly sound and has done from the outset.
“I used to listen to Dan and Dave in Fighting Kites and when they disbanded I took them for my own,” Minogue continues “They have a way of making an odd song flow really well. It was great to realise that together we had a band sound without having to contrive it.”
The album Company is a collective examination of humanity and isolation. The title alone stems from this world view. “The way people operate in company – and in companies – is so interesting. Groups are formed by individuals but after that they take on a life of their own.”
Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music, New Music
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