Drab Majesty
The Demonstration


4.0
excellent

Review

by JWT155 USER (5 Reviews)
April 17th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark, yet shimmering with vibrancy, The Demonstration is a full course meal for anyone wishing to sink their teeth into an atmospheric experience.

Fads. They come, they go, and they inevitably return. Many times they ascend exactly as you remembered them, and other times they’ve shape shifted, embracing the changing of the times and incorporating nuances that hadn’t even existed prior. Whether it’s clothing, food, art, people long for nostalgia, a return to their roots, and to re-experience the same feelings they fell in love with years, and even decades prior, many times with a new enhanced twist. Meanwhile newcomers curiously seek to understand the past, and feverishly piece together the inspirations of those before them so they can stand on shoulders of giants. Music is no stranger to such trends. With seemingly countless genres pulling into an endless melting pot of experimentation, modern music has become a paradigm of being everywhere, yet somewhere that’s never been tread, all at once. One of the most rewarding discoveries someone can make is to discover something that can simultaneously evoke the pleasures and ecstasy of the past, but leave you spellbound with something new, a fresh creation that is sprinting forward into the future, and beyond. The Demonstration is such an experience.

Drab Majesty are a duo based out of Los Angeles, California. Upon watching a handful of their music videos, or seeing them perform a live set, you’ll immediately be bombarded with intense imagery. Thick white makeup, thickly laden lipstick, short bleached hair, thick sunglasses to keep out the minimal light already present in a nearly entirely darkened room, where shadows are cast and ominous thoughts wander. Draped in cloaks and leather, one wonders if they’re about to listen to music or be a participant in a paganistic ritual. Bracing yourself for what’s about to happen, the guitar is plugged in, the drum machine starts, light notes begin tapping away from a keyboard and ethereal guitar tones transcend the room. For as sharp as their bite appears, Drab Majesty’s music perfectly foils their intense image. While their jarring outfits may seem the intimidating sort an 80’s outcast scene punk would wear, a lost member of The Lost Boys, their music pierces the air with soothing calmness and precision. The juxtaposition makes their art and music all the more captivating.

With such an eclectic image, where exactly does Drab Majesty wish to take you once the music starts" Heavily influenced by Darkwave, Post Punk, Shoegaze and countless other genres, the Demonstration is a record that generates a dreary yet serene atmosphere. With constant nods to the 80’s in sound and image. Drab Majesty could very well be a band playing in a club in the Blade Runner universe, innocently playing while Blade Runner Rick Deckard scans the room and sips his drink, meticulously scanning for any possible replicants. Even in the modern world, their style and sound would fit neatly within the realm of 80’s music, with contemporaries such as The Cure, New Order, etc.

So, while Drab Majesty clearly has pulled together a unique image and a sound that can be placed within a specific, time, place and era, how do they keep it fresh" First, this record is ripe with guitar riffs. From catchy melodies, eerie instrumentals to danceable upbeat tracks, The Demonstration is packed with melodic licks that one could listen to late at night blaring in their car while they drive through the night to tunes that could be lighting up a gothic club deep into the early hours of the morning. While some may be sticklers to having a drum machine, I think that having such a lifeless mechanized beat set the tone for an overlay of lively keyboard work and electrifying guitar lines is the perfect counterbalance. The music is robotic, yet organic. Cold, yet completely alive. The vocals add yet again to this equation, with Deb Demure (Andrew Clinco) taking these duties along with guitar. Standard of the Darkwarve and Post Punk genre, Deb’s deep voice and monotonous yet versatile tone, in the vain of New Order and Depeche Mode, enhances the dark undertones of The Demonstration while still providing the nuanced cadences to still make you want to tap your foot and dance. From the wall of sound that hits you once Dot in the Sky begins, to the shoegazey dream state Cold Souls entrances you, The Demonstration is a record that takes you on a musical journey of highs and lows, dark atmosphere and heavenly sounds, and it’s a real trip from front to back.

Many may look at Drab Majesty with confusion, others may think they have very much amped up the Dark Wave image of those before them while walking a tight line between imagination and re-enactment. I strongly believe that Drab Majesty are a band in the right place at the right time, emulating a sound and style that desperately has been missing in the modern musical landscape for some time. While they certainly stand on the sound, image and achievements of those before them, I believe they are a fresh face and sound for new era of listeners who either haven’t discovered a deep catalog of music and plethora of similar bands or for those longing for a taste of the past with a new twist. The Demonstration is a record that will time travel yourself back to the past, while strapping you into a spaceship into the future, and if you’re willing to go along for the ride who knows where we and Drab Majesty made end up.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
JWT155
April 17th 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw this wasn't reviewed yet, and with a new song released and a new album on the way I thought it was a travesty given this was one of my favorite records from 2017. I wrote this up in under 2 hours, any critiques/recomendations are welcome. If you haven't checked these guys out yet give them a spin.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2019


15834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review dude, can't believe this hadn't been reviewed yet. "Dot in the Sky" is a hell of a tune.



Just a little thing: "while Blade Runner Rick Deckard scans the room while he sips "

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

JWT155
April 17th 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! Updates made.



And agreed, surprised it hadn't been reviewed yet either.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 17th 2019


30735 Comments


Great review, glad to see you writing! Not sure if this would be my thing or not. Might have to check it out when releases slow a bit, at the very least your write up got me intrigued.

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Igor

JWT155
April 17th 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks sowing! Honestly check out their new single, Ellipsis. If you dig it check this out, if not no big deal.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2019


15834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ellipsis is such a solid single. Can't wait for the album.

Jaymann
April 17th 2019


22 Comments


I really enjoyed the new song. I look forward to the album.


Krvst
April 18th 2019


460 Comments


Really surprised this didn't already have a review. Good write up, very excited for their new album, Ellipses is solid so hoping the rest are decent.

jemaiseyeti
April 18th 2019


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to see this reviewed, definitely one of my favourite albums of 2018. Looking to buy it on vinyl, but that seems to be a bit of hassle outside of the US. Some tips?

Digging: Hath - Of Rot And Ruin

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2019


15834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You can probably find smth suitable in discogs?



https://www.discogs.com/es/Drab-Majesty-The-Demonstration/master/1118975

jemaiseyeti
April 18th 2019


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’ll check it out, thanks!

sixdegrees
April 18th 2019


6011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

only 90s kids will remember Heaven's Gate

JWT155
April 18th 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And their odd fascination with Nike shoes.

Trophycase
April 18th 2019


1387 Comments


Nice to see this got a review, only heard "Too Soon To Tell" from this but really enjoy that track. I actually didn't know this was two people, thought it was just the one really tall dude.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2019


15834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

He was alone when he released this album but they became a duo while touring if I remember correctly.

JWT155
April 18th 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dewinged is correct, it's a duo that performs live, but it's Andrew Clinco's brainchild. I'd reccomend checking out Cold Souls and Dot in the Sky.

JWT155
May 21st 2019


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New song is fire



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