Thursday, 19 January 2012

The DRX - The Deepening Hole review for Alternative Matter webzine

It has to be said that there are very few albums or EP’s that come to the listener as a genuine surprise in that they display that essence of originality. “The Deepening Hole” by the DRX, essentially the brainchild of Dan Romans, has that essence of surprise from the opening few minutes of “Love Has Lost the Meaning It Once Had”. Opening with roaring waves of abrasive guitar and guttural, barked vocal, one gets the feeling that this is another pedestrian post-rock symphony. Surprise then, when the track veers off into jazz-like passages with keyboard and horn sections that support a now clean, straight forward vocal style which, on paper, appears untidy and directionless, but in reality works well together to form a unique listening experience.

The second piece on this EP, “The Deepening Hole” is a mellow, yet harrowing song sung straight with nothing but lush instrumentation to support some frankly naked vocal emotion, which is what one might come to suppose as regards a song dealing with the subject of publicly disembowelling oneself. The final track, “Episode V”, seems to display elements of both its’ predecessors in that there are certainly passages of intricate riffing in complex time signatures, sliced through with aggressive and desperate, yet more confident, vocal.The piece ends with another turn of events as the pace is slowed right down to a dirge which ends the EP with some demonic vocal wailing, which, again, academically would not work, but in reality is perfectly in keeping with the mood and the tone of “The Deepening Hole”.

Dan Romans has a background in post-rock (Izzi Creo), post-hardcore (Faello Nor) and jazz, and these disparate elements help to inform the sound of the DRX. The variety of classical and electronic instrumentation involved in piecing together the songs and the complexity and diversity of styles present gives some indication that any future full length release from the DRX will be opportunity for further welcome surprises.

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