EP REVIEW: Drop Anchor - From Patience to Contempt
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Queens of the Stone Age, Chevelle
Technical Grade: 6/10
Weakness: Guitar Tonality, Overactive Synthetic Drum Tones, lack of solo guitar.
Philadelphia 4-piece rock band Drop Anchor release their second EP entitled From Patience to Contempt in 2010. They hail from the greater, PA area. The band consists of Kevin Mooney (Bass) Matt Buckley (guitar & vocals) Brad Holstine (Lead Guitarist) Harold Echols (Drummer). Influences include the likes of Quicksand, Failure, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, and Queens of the Stone Age.
The EP kicks things off with “The Opposition” an aggressive rock crescendo delivering sonic guitar attack against driving rock rhythms, & rich melodic foundation that peaks & valleys its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “The Wait” keep things moving in the right direction with its driving rock rhythm, methodical rock explosion delivering full tilt rock groove with heart felt vocal passion from lead singer Matt Buckley. Track 3 “Disconnect” delivers yet another impressive track that hits hard with its driving low end groove intro, hard hitting guitar attack & hooky chorus from Buckley. As this EP slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic acts like Silverchair, Stone Temple Pilots, Chevelle, & Queens of the Stone Age. Despite some of the influences it's quite amazing how refined the sound is with amazing sonic touches here & there. Note for note, song for song it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. I would classify this music as Progressive Experimental Rock with a strong emphasis on melodic vocals. The most impressive thing about this EP is the passionate vocal delivery of Buckley. He has a vocal swagger similar to a Mathew Bellamy (Muse), Daniel Johns (Silverchair) & Pete Loeffler (Chevelle). He pretty much lets it all hang out emotionally on all songs, his voice is solid, & he brings a lot of entertainment & emotions to the table. I might add he takes a lot of vocal risks throughout the production indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. From mesmerizing “Always Tempting Fate” to hard hitting” The Pedestal” this EP has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Masochist” – the perfect finale statement.
My biggest problem with this EP is the guitar tonality. To me they sound overly synthetic lacking raw bite. I not sure how the guitar was tracked but I suspect these are direct line recordings. To capture the essence of distorted guitar most professionals utilize both direct & live cab recordings together as a 2 pronged approach. I also don’t particularly like the way the snare drum sounds either within the mix - horrible tone. Drums sound a bit overly synthetic to me. Kick drum lacks solid low end punch. I wish I heard a few more guitar solos along the way as well.
From start to finish From Patience to Contempt is one hell of a ride. The music is highly original & creative, extremely melodic, & packed to the hilt with high adrenalin. The writing and playing abilities of this 4 piece is rock solid with respect to the genera in question. The vocal presence of Matt Buckley fills the space effectively & unobtrusively. I look forward to hearing the full length CD later on this Summer.