Drawers - Drawers (2014)
Review by Trevor Proctor
Drawers is a five piece stoner/doom/southern rock band hailing from Toulouse, France; they’re currently signed to French label Kaotoxin Records and February sees the release of their second full length album – “Drawers.” Drawers’ first release was an EP entitled “This is Oil” in 2008 which was followed by their debut full length “All Is One” in 2011 - in addition to this they also collaborated with fellow French men Hangman’s Chair on a 7” split in 2012.
Musical similarities with the likes of early Mastodon and Baroness along with an almost constant touring cycle saw Drawers establish a growing fan base along with a reputation for fierce, high energy live shows. Before recording their new album Drawers decided to re-invent themselves and rather than release the same album time after time, they decided they wanted to capture the power, intensity and groove of their reputable live shows on disc.
To achieve this they stripped back their material whilst maintaining the essential musical ingredients that garnered their live shows such praise in the first place; on disc they wanted to become “a supercharged, high-octane, groove machine whose music is as captivating as enjoyable and which stage presence is as intense as entertaining.” Drawers wanted to grow and mature their sound to create an album full of instantly likeable tracks aimed at hooking the listener from scratch.
All eight tracks on the album typify their adopted back to basics approach and last around four minutes each in comparison to longer, more epic in nature, tracks such as Golden Adieu and Muddy Smoke from their debut album. That said, this is not necessarily a bad choice as each track manages to capture what Drawers are all about – chugging, riff laden yet groovy rock that rocks like a quarry on blast day.
Once and for All makes for a good opener to the album; the energy from the band is noticeable from the off, along with Nicolas Bastide’s vocal style that ranges from flat out screaming to southern tinged drawls during the track, and indeed the album’s duration. As with many tracks from the album Drawers cleverly use breaks in tempo that give way to monstrous chugs and riffs, throwing the listener back into Drawers’ hard rocking sludge tinged world.
Track six, Shadow Dancers was a definite highlight of the album for me; it’s a catchy, rocking track that again shows Bastide’s powerful vocal style is a perfect accompaniment to the music being created by his bandmates; the intensity with which he sings is perfectly matched to the energy emanating from the band’s music - to capture heaviness with this level of groove is no mean feat and to me it’s no surprise Drawers have selected this track for a music video which is currently in production.
Already an established group in their native land of France, this album has given Drawers a chance to showcase how they have developed their musical and song writing skills further whilst amassing a much wider audience – the album is a very consistent release deserving critical acclaim and what’s most prevalent throughout is the energy, commitment and dedication with which they ply their trade – well placed breaks give way to riffs aplenty and along with catchy, groovy hooks and impassioned vocals it’s a combination that makes for an album worthy of many listens; a solid, memorable release.
1. Once and for All.
3. It’s All About Love.
5. Take Stock.
6. Shadow Dancers.
Drawers is available now from Kaotoxin Records but don’t hang about - the first press of 1000 cds are hand numbered, limited DigiSleeve editions.