Kent based emo duo Drawstring are no strangers to releasing new music which packs a punch as the band have steadily been dropping EP’s and tracks, which have only been getting stronger since early 2014. This year has been no different for the band as in March they released a singular track called Clubhouse and now are set to release their debut full length COOL come the start of December. Clubhouse and all their other releases bode well for this upcoming release, so let’s jump in to COOL.
Melon kicks of this debut album and it is an amazing track from start to finish. Not only does the instrumentation show how skilled this two piece are at generating a song which you can bop along too, but it also encompasses the vocals of both Sam Shepherd and Ben Schulze which fit perfectly together. Through the intricate guitar parts and accompanying drums, which help carry the track, it sets a great precedent for the remainder of this debut.
Coming next on this debut is the track Little Conversation, which comes with this infectious instrumentation but topped off with its sombre lyrics it creates this great juxtaposition which makes the track truly stick in the mind. Alongside the instrumentation and vocals, around the 1:30 mark the track drops the intense upbeat instrumentation for something softer and more subtle, showing how the band now how to perfectly drop a song before picking it back up again for a blistering finish.
Coupling up with Little Conversation is the title track of this debut Cool. The track although not directly applying itself to the themes of the earlier track still shows how the duo persistently are keeping this slick fast paced riffing and at times complex drum patterns together track after track.
Following on are the tracks They Know I’m Not Okay and Ache. Two tracks that couldn’t fit more perfectly together as with the slow paced instrumentation of They Know I’m Not Okay acting as some form of interlude between the two tracks there is clear sense of the knowledge the duo have when it comes to music theory also. As the track then reaches it climax we are suddenly dropped in to Ache. With it’s complex instrumentation, similar to many of the tracks on this debut and other releases alike, it is surprise when you remember this is just a duo. This is especially true when the track jumps in to a form of double time at the end.
Weekend is possibly the most interesting song on this entire release as in parts it feels very mathy with it’s off timings, not only found in the songs structure and instrumentation but also in the vocals as they run in such a different time to the music. Unfortunately Weekend feels to run a little short, as it leaves almost as quickly as it comes, but that doesn’t stop this track from making the impact Drawstring clearly wants it to have.
The weakest track on this release is Way Home, but having said that, this being the weakest track is by no means a bad thing as this is still stronger than some of the strongest tracks on other releases from this year. With it’s varying pace this track is a interesting listen, that deserves far more than a couple of plays.
School comes next on this debut record and it is not only the lead single but it is also the strongest track on the release. With its use of slightly off timings and well crafted vocal melodies and accompanying harmonies there is never a moment on this track where something feels out of place. Alongside that this track is one which you can come back to time and again and you always find something new you didn’t realise or notice before, it is truly a track that keeps on giving.
The first of two re-recordings for this debut greets the album in the form of Chicago Town off of the bands first EP One. Yet again the band does justice to a song, which is not only from their back catalogue, but also adds to an already exceptional album. However, coming off of the end of School this track does feel slightly lack lustre despite it still being a great track. There is almost a sense that they could have chosen a different track such as Nothing to take Chicago Towns place.
Closing off this debut are the tracks What I Want and Johnny B Bad, the second re-recording on this album. What I Want is a perfect summation to what this album has been a great album which if filled with interesting and complex instrumentation and splendid vocal patterns, from both Sam and Ben, which compliment each other down to the final note. Yet Johnny B Bad, is a track which deserves a hundred spins as it is a perfect closer with its extended length and beautiful simplicity but also it is a great calling card to where the band started from back in 2014.
Drawstring have produced one of the best albums of this year and from two guys of their age it shows the promise they have for the future. However, if they continue to produce tracks that hit successively as the entirety of Cool does, both instrumentally and vocally, then these two are going to go far. If you are ever in need of an album to just sit and listen to then look no further because Drawstring are providing it. [9/10]