Drawing Voices – S/T

Drawing Voices – S/T / 2007 Hydra Head / 6 Tracks / http://www.hydrahead.com /

For those not in the know, Drawing Voices is the culmination of forces including artist Craig Dongoski and Isis’ Aaron Turner. So, typical Hydra Head-types of individuals join forces to craft a six-song album. “Being Born Broken” is a short introduction to Drawing Voices, and there is more atmospheric sounds present to the track than anything. It is an ambient sound approach that Drawing Voices takes on this early track, and the only thing that is different than this being purely ambient noise is that at points, the arrangements include an industrial, almost Aphex Twin like sound. The track dovetails nicely with the much longer “Mask”, the disc’s second song.

“Mask” is a track that is broken into distinct movements, and while none of the movements are as bipolar as say a Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Drawing Voices are moving in just as many directions as that act. For example, the band approaches a more medieval/industrial atmosphere which is much heavier and darker than anything else previously on the track. The track gradually gains steam, to the degree that by the five and six minute mark, the insistent arrangements are pushing and struggling to break free. The band really takes a different, easily noticeable turn with their “Scattered Shavings”. There is an edge to the track’s opening that gradually falls off, but this drop-off should be construed as a breakpoint between two different styles used by the band.

The same sort of classical atmospheric sound present on earlier tracks is united with a blend of vocal and instrumental noise, to the degree that it sounds almost as if electronic rats are feeding. This effect is distinct and is to my knowledge only created by Drawing Voices; it provides individuals with an extra boost, enough to finish up the twenty-five or so minutes that create the second half of the disc.  The fact that Drawing Voices typically only uses one or two distinct instrumental sounds at any one given point during their tracks on this album hurts the replay value of the disc slightly. However, the expansive landscapes that Drawing Voices create on this album provide a journey arduous enough to make getting through the disc a fulfilling feat all on its own. Drawing Voices will be a band to look out for; they may put the neo-classical noisemakers in their place with subsequent albums. Pick this and any subsequent releases up.

Top Track: Being Born Broken II

Rating: 6.9/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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