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Druids - Druids

Druids
Druids
by Chen May at 18 July 2017, 7:41 PM

DRUIDS “are a band that infuse titanic Hard Rock with Glam-Pop hooks”. Originating from Suffolk, England, the Rock band released their debut self-titled album in 2017. The band is made up of vocalist and bassist Jay Goodrich, drummer Joel Kurta and guitarist Richard Tyler. Although being dubbed as “Space Rock”, there is much more to DRUIDS’ sound. It’s not Pop, it’s not Metal, but rather a combination of features ranging from Rock riffs, light electronic elements and vocals reminiscent of 80s Pop music. Hence, if you are looking for an album that is heavy and aggressive, keep looking.

The album opens with the psychedelic “Mission”, a hymn with strong sci-fi influences backed with distorted riffage. It is a very quirky song, juxtaposing Glam-Pop vocal styles with Rock beats, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. Likewise, “Stuart Slater” is both catchy in its rhythm yet bizarre in its lyrical content. One of the album’s highlights, “Reflections”, has a funky mainstream sound with a memorable groove to it. “Time” would be one of my personal favorites on this album. The bass hooks, guitar riffs and drum beats work especially well together here, producing a dynamic yet brooding effect at the same time.  Jay’s voice sounds slightly more subdued, although he retains the usual “airiness” in his vocals. Moreover, Richard does a great job on the guitar riffs in this tune, which adds a tinge of heaviness to it.

“Pulling The Trigger” is arguably the most “metallic” song on this album. Unfortunately, the song tries too hard to be heavy at times, resulting in a hodgepodge of oddly-placed riffs, redundant vocal passages and a strange inclusion of Jay’s distorted and detached voice in the middle of the track.  Meanwhile, the retro-esque “Honey Pie” begins with solid guitar riffs and bass lines. Despite the catchy nature of the track, its quality is marred by the insubstantial songwriting; “Jog On” suffers from the same problem in terms of an underdeveloped composition. It feels as if there is not much going on within the tune, apart from the usual riffs and vocal passages.

I personally find “When You’re In Love” to be the weakest song on this album; repetitive lyrics aside, the entire song just feels lazy and uninspired. It mostly consists of the singer repeating “when you’re in love” throughout the whole track, and the guitar solo here sounds generic and boring.  On the other hand, the final track “Fantasy” certainly lives up to its name with its dreamy composition and “chilled out” melodies. The inclusion of a mellow piano arrangement with soft percussion is a nice touch to this tune, further enhancing its calming nature, which eventually ends with a synthesized effect.

I admit that I have mixed feelings regarding this production. “Druids” does have its moments. It is easy-listening and catchy compared to other Rock bands, and Jay does carry a voice that is well-suited for the band’s dreamlike musical effect. Nevertheless, the songwriting aspect of it is quite weak, considering the general repetitiveness of the lyrics; and the occasionally uninspiring compositions of some of the songs do not help. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement, given that this is the band’s first full-length album. Hopefully a sophomore album with a more mature sound and better-written lyrics can be expected from DRUIDS.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mission
2. Stuart Slater
3. Reflections
4. Time
5. Pulling the Trigger
6. Honey Pie
7. Jog On
8. When You’re in Love
9. Fantasy
Lineup:
Jay Goodrich – Vocals/Bass
Joel Kurta – Drums
Richard Tyler – Guitars
Record Label: Independent
     


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