Taking their cues from great artists over great musicians, Drahla could well be the next band to make good on the tried and tested art-school-to-post-punk-stardom trope. Not likely to ever actively chase something so cliched, there’s nevertheless a comfortable position for the trio as Leeds’ answer (in collaboration with London) to Sonic Youth.
It’s spiky, moody and tense, and if Luciel Brown’s vocals can seep through the noisy blasts for long enough she’s usually effortlessly exercising one of the most hypnotising vocabularies around. “Ancient Egypt in the palm of my hand…” starts ‘Pyramid Estate’, before running on to say “expiration date on tangible existence” as once again Drahla’s abstract perspective leaves you needing a detailed explanation of what’s just been discussed. Philosophical and heavily textured, it’s all too understandable that the trio have the ambition to not just take over gig venues all over the world but galleries too. With the swirling guitars, the propulsive drumming and the unpredictable and unconstrained saxophone segments, Drahla have more than in the palette to craft something truly memorable. With a much bigger bite than bark, they rarely waste their energy on anything less than truly impactful. Already boasting some impressive early singles and a fantastic EP, it’s a testament to their quality that so little of their pre-existing back catalogue makes it onto ‘Useless Coordinates’, leaving this young band already with more than enough killer tracks for any set.
This opening statement from a band emerging as one of Britain’s most inspired and uncompromising, could just be a strong starting step in a vivid and unconventional journey. For a band that seems more in thrall to Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly than any musician, that’s both apt and essential.
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We hosted another jam-packed night up at Horatio’s on Brighton Pier to close the fest.
The trio look ahead to The Great Escape.
Touring with Ought and METZ and penning warped, dark post-punk, things are looking up for Drahla.