CD REVIEW: Drunk Souls - Revolution (2011)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Label: Drunk Soul Records
Genre: Euro-Reggae, Alternative Rock, Ambient Power Pop
Sounds Like: The Gorillaz, Oingo Boingo, UB40, Mountain
Technical Grade: 7/10
American Marketability, Winded Songs
Marseille France based Reggae-Rock band Drunk Souls release their second effort entitled Revolution in 2011. Band memners include DJaM (lead vocal), JU (lead guitar), Pierre Pesin (trumpet), Julien Heurtel (drums), Adrien Coulomb (bass), Jean Marc Layani (keyboards) and Romain Morello (Trombone).
The CD kicks things off with “Drifter Song” a catchy intro piece that sets the stage rather appropriately for this catalogue of music. This first piece delivers hooky groove, coupled with pulsating rhythm, against catchy vocals and psychedelic musical flair. Track 2 entitled “Human Race” serves up a steady horn driven vibe against pulsating melody and exotic vocal layering that can be described as captivating, mesmerizing and infectious. Track 3 “J’ai fait un reve” dishes out a surfer rock guitar ambience against pulsating keyboard and synthesizer accents, with vocal layers of sound that come at you from every directions. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of The Gorillaz, Oingo Boing, and even Mountain and UB40. The music is extremely melodic but definitely brings to the table a lot of Euro musical variety and a degree of unpredictability. You will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere – from rocking reggae guitar, impressive solo guitars, driving rhythms, Ska Horns, piano, percussive accents, synthesizers, keyboard accents, and well placed vocal harmonies and layering. The vocal abilities of DjaM fill the sonic space quite well and mesh well with this catalogue of music perfectly. All band members play their parts extremely well song for song and note for note. Musical sampling, rhythms and beats are effective and well placed. The sonic overdubbing and mixing is packed to the hilt and chopped full of exotic soundscapes that lunge at you from every direction. There’s not a dull moment on the entire production. The melodic layering is deep, the sonic ambience is infectious and the music is entertaining and just fun to listen to. From upbeat “Lust” and “Africa” and to passionate “Happy Death Day” to rocking “Sullivan Story”, “Always” and “Supermarket” to dynamic “L’amour dietique” and grooving “Separation” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Uniform” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s fair to say the think French tongue and accent will take a toll on most Western listeners. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the aforementioned issues affect the CD’s overall marketability. If the Drunk Souls are serious about penetrating the American Market I recommend releasing 2 CD's simultaneously. One in their native tongue for European fans, and another in English for American fans.
From start to finish Revolution by Drunk Souls by “Drunk Souls” is a rock solid production. It’s extremely consistent, catchy, original, and very melodic. It’s strength – a total blast to listen to, the songs are extremely catchy and infectious and with 16 songs the catalog comes fully loaded. All songs grab you refusing to let go. All in all Drunk Souls combine amazing songwriting, top flight originality, with a mix with rich sonic layering. Make no bones about it these are some very talented composers and performer from Frances. When the ride is over you will want to do it all over again.