5th March 2012

Album: Dry The River – Shallow Bed

This is a band who have taken 2 opposite influences and brought them together into something brilliant.

Dry River
Shallow Bed
RCA Records
4 stars
Released: March 5th 2012

I’ve been a fan of London five-piece Dry The River since I saw them supporting Johnny Flynn in a horrid little bar in Dundee in June 2010.  Since then I’ve seen them live more times than I can count and have always loved them, so for me, listening to their debut album was like returning to an old friend.  Songs such as ‘Weights and Measures’ and ‘Bible Belt’ still provoke the same feelings in me that they did all those months ago.

Throughout their career they’ve been compared to Mumford & Sons an inordinate amount, perhaps the presence of a violinist, which makes them a bit folky, made people ignore the fact that the two have hardly anything in common.  Dry the River did, in fact, come together through their love of post-punk and originally started out to write that kind of music but the folk element crept in over time.  Throughout the record, the dichotomy of these two influences is plain.  The overwhelming crescendo of ‘No Rest’ moves into the whispered opening of ‘Shaker Hymns’, where the group’s talent for harmonizing is shown off to its fullest extent.

It’s on closer ‘Lion’s Den’ though where it becomes clear what really makes up the backbone of this band.  At almost 7 minutes it’s an epic piece of music, starting off very calmly before descending in to a mess of noise and distortion with vocalist Peter Liddle screaming almost inaudibly over the top of it all.  The thing that makes it so special is that the violin melody plays such a huge part until the end, it’s constantly there as a reminder of the fact that this is a band who have taken two opposite influences and brought them together into something brilliant.

Dry The River – Weights and Measures

More Coverage

Party Like Gatsby will see the O2 Ritz turned into a 1920s speakeasy

Party Like Gatsby returns to O2 Ritz after three long years with Soirée Royale – its biggest party yet!

Album review: Maja Lena pushes her musical boundaries on PLUTO

Maja Lena’s winning combination of folk drawing on electronic elements transports us to an imagined planet

Mogwai: “I feel our music, to the music world, is like a Louis Theroux documentary”

The Mancunion talk to Mogwai’s Barry Burns about the band’s 25 year career, spanning powerful live shows and soaring film scores

Pop for a Dying Planet: CMAT shares new single Mayday

A deep dive into the latest track, ‘Mayday’, from Irish singer-songwriter and rising star CMAT

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR