Review Summary: It feels like Miles Davis jamming on bud.Memory Drawings
is the follow-up to The Drift’s debut album, Noumena
. Coming three years after Noumena
the music is familiar, yet much more mature. There is a deeper quality to the textures created by the group.
The Drift’s music is emotional and relaxing. Songs have the air of chilled out jam sessions, yet their melodies are as strong as those found in more structured bands. Guitar oriented Bands like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai work their songs toward climaxes and releases, whereas the Drift specializes at meshing less dynamic moments into a comfortable zone; their comforting music that unbinds the listener in an almost hypnotic fashion. Brass cuts through the psychedelic grooves making cohesive the gentle chaos. It feels like Miles Davis jamming on bud.
“If Wishes Were Like Horses” sets the experimental tone for the record. Unlike a lot of post-rock, the bass voice is utilized to its full potential. A fast arpeggio is plucked behind slowly strummed guitar chords. Then comes trumpet over the top, playing off of the jazzy drumming, reminiscent of Do Make Say Think. The song doesn’t just content itself with settling there however, increasing pace and dynamic in its bridge section, before it returns to the top and fades out. “Uncanny Valley” grooves in a funkadelic way that feels very natural. The brassy waves cascading over the be-bopping bass display afro-beat influences as well as a cavalcade of others, and that wealth of seemingly paradoxical influences makes it hard to really nail an exposition on the group. As previously stated, however, the culmination feels perfectly natural.
One of the shorter tracks is “I Had A List And I Lost It”. It’s a simple ambient track, yet one thick with emotion. Provoking images of city lights bleeding past at high speeds, the gentle drumming and firm trumpet seep through the listener in an orgastic way. Rather then leading toward a climax, the song holds the listener in its steady grip, content to slowly twist him around with its pervading passion. By contrast, “Golden Sands” is a track which departs a bit from the steadiness of the rest of the album, seeking to draw the listener into its slow crescendo. It really builds energy at the end, with trumpet slicing through its rhythmic groove. My favorite track is “Lands End”. Beginning slowly and distantly, its beauty becomes clear when drum set enters, creating a euphonic phrase as pretty as anything put out by bands like Sigur Ros or This Will Destroy You.
I’ll preface my conclusion with a simple statement; music shouldn’t need to be technically advanced or unconventional to be appreciated. Yes, Do Make Say Think has done made said stuff in a similar vein, and I wouldn’t say any of this music is tough to comprehend or perform. However, what is most important to me is how music moves the listener, and on all of the occasions that I’ve played this album it has moved me in a very satisfying way. The album is entirely instrumental, and easily accessible for being so. Its repetitive steadiness could be considered a weakness, yet it is still extremely enjoyable. The seven track record spans over fifty-five minutes, and is potent throughout. It is definitely worth checking out for those who appreciate pretty and relaxing music.