"If you could take a polaroid of your life..." Drab Majesty began in earnest with Deb Demure (real name Andrew Clinco) experimenting with classic folk fingerpicked guitar stylings, eventually (somehow) modulating to the reverb-drenched new wave maximalism we recognize today: “The songwriting just kind of manifested. I really started to feel fairly removed from this whole experience.” This, 2016’s sophomore effort The Demonstration, added keyboardist Mona D and sees the project shift into high gear on all fronts: songwriting, concept and production, with the latter attributed to the revelatory sound design of producer Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv). “Induction” sets the tone with airy swaths of synth pads, leading straight into fingerpicked guitar and huge-ass gated drums on “Dot In The Sky.” The throbbing uptempo drums, punchy bassline and catchy hook set a high bar for fist-pumping dance sleaze, but the album dazzles the brightest in its more tempered grooves: “Not Just A Name,” “Cold Souls” and sobering religious cult elegy “39 By Design.” “Too Soon To Tell” deploys a saccharine nu-romantic melodic sensibility that’s as catchy as anything this side of Violator. Basically, yeah, it sounds a lot like Depeche Mode, but unlike most retro-facing synthpop acts working today, Drab completely eschew lo-fi aesthetics in favor of the highest quality production available, perfectly consistent with their technology-obsessed 1980s progenitors, and its the allure and coherence of their songwriting that really set them apart. This pressing is limited to 700 copies, housed in matte jacket with full color printed inner sleeve and download card. Recommended.
- marbled smoke colored vinyl
- full color printed inner sleeve
- download code included
- limited edition of 700
- original release year: 2017
- music label: Dais Records 2022
reviewed by him downstairs 07/2019