“So Much Drama” really isn’t that dramatic, once someone listens to more than one track by the band. Ashley’s vocals on tracks like “Samantha Brown Get Down! Get Down” and “Red Knives And Plastic Wives” are atonal and really do not extend beyond eir just infusing eir talking style with the slightest bit of melody. In fact, the only memorable moment of the first third of “So Much Drama” comes during the pit-worthy speed-up of Ashley’s vocals, but even the momentum garnered from that can’t stop the similar sounding guitars from becoming more of a nuisance than a font of inspiration. “The Magnificent Ghost” has the repetition of “Out Past Curfew”, and the only thing that could be chalked up as a victory in the Red Knife Lottery’s camp is their ability to change time signatures at the blink of an eye.
It does not hurt the band that all the tracks on “So Much Drama” are done with virtually the same sound; however, the innovation in-between tracks is at an all-time low. The similarity that is a hallmark of Red Knife Lottery makes “So Much Drama” into a symphony with six movements instead of a distinct EP with tracks that showcase different facets of the band. The fact that Ashley knows no other way to sing on “So Much Drama” really ensures that the disc (and by extension the band) changes very little throughout the twenty minute runtime. It takes the band nearly fifteen minute before changing up their style in even the slightest way, and even the aural differences enjoyed on “Love To The Sound Emergency” are not enough to right this sinking ship.
What is the outcome of “So Much Drama” is a chaotic, shambling mess that even suffers with impressive mixing and mastering; Ashley’s vocals on the final track honest sound as if ey kept moving closer to and farther from the microphone (and this effect is random enough that even I highly doubt that this was planned). Essentially, Ashley’s vocals are the equivalent to the sub-par raps by Skinhead Rob on the Transplants’ albums; similarly, both the backing bands are so set in their ways that each track exploits the same sound and structure, stifling any removal from the quagmire they have found themselves in. There are a few interesting constructs on “So Much Drama”, but they are so few and far between that the most positive prognosis would be to go and wait till the next album by Red Knife Lottery album comes out.
Top Track: The Magnificent Ghost
Red Knife Lottery – So Much Drama / 2005 Uprising / 6 Tracks / http://www.redknifelottery.com / http://www.uprisingrecords.com / Reviewed 07 July 2005