Drown This City – False Idols EP
Drown This City Line Up –
Alex Reade // Vocals
Anthony Pallas // Drums
Laurence Appleby // Guitar
Matt Bean // Guitar
Michael Furolo // Bass
There are times when being a music reviewer/journalist/whatever really pays off. You get to see some amazing live bands, you get to listen to some amazing albums that you may never have looked into and it’s always a treat to find something that blows your socks off. Unfortunately, this is not one of those treats. Melbourne based “post-hardcore” band Drown This City have attempted to craft an EP crammed with so many stylistic elements that the five songs on the EP tend to feel much, much, much longer. Electronic beats over screamed and clean vocals over punchy drums over hardcore guitars; that’s the sound they have. Whilst this may appeal to some people, it does NOT to yours truly and here’s why.
The first track ‘We Are Not Dead’ begins with a pop infused electronic introduction which kicks into Alex Reade’s signature screams. It’s hard to articulate how this made me feel, so a simple ‘they aren’t very good’ will have to suffice. The electronics continue on every song, starting off the introduction and dominating over the rest of the band’s work, second only to the vocals. Many bands can do this brand of electronic hardcore music well; Crossfaith and The Browning springing instantly to mind, but Drown This City, do not.
The more metal aspects of their music, do not fare very well either. The guitars follow generic patterns, the drums get lost in the mix and the bass is practically non-existent. Second track ‘The Edge’ is a glaring example of the sounds of the rest of the band getting muted by the very prominent electronics and vocals. On a positive note, the times I could hear the guitars, the tone was enjoyable and the collective twenty seconds of acceptable music on the EP had me wish they were at the forefront. Despite the tone being mildly okay, the riffs themselves were wondrously bland, resulting in the EP, at only five songs, dissolving into a never-ending bundle of mediocrity.
To my knowledge, this album was produced by Anthony Pallas and Laurence Appleby, drummer and guitarist respectively, so I find it hard to comprehend why they muted their own contributions. Besides the low mix of instruments, the production overall is muddy, convoluted and hard to listen to. So much so, at one point it culminated in a mess so bad I had to turn the EP off for a moment. Besides the production being less than ideal, the songs themselves follow the same recipe. ALL beginning with an electronic introduction and following the generic verse, chorus, verse structure, which adds to the general monotony.
Drown This City have branded themselves as having a ‘unique and highly developed sound.’ A comment I can only assume means ‘derivative’ as every aspect of their sound, whilst also being uninspired, has been done before. If the band wishes to make a better record on their next try, this writer suggests hiring a producer and heavily refining every aspect of their sound and songwriting. The band also seems to rely on the presence of their vocalist, as if by sheer fact of being female, one is meant to accept them under different guidelines. Rolo Tomassi don’t need to advertise themselves as such, because they’re a well rounded, original band. However, I’m sure people find this mix of elements interesting or even great, but I well and truly, do not.
— Dylonov Tomasivich