Draffin - In the Echoes of This Mind
Record Label: None
Release Date: May 8, 2007
To purge a considerably eccentric comparison, New York quintet Draffin's recent release, In the Echoes of This Mind, could surely conceive certain similarities when set beside a bag of non-name brand cereal. You know what I'm talking about: you buy the Captain Crisp because it looks, sounds, and is by all tangible reason, a carbon copy of the popular cereal Capn' Crunch. On top of this, it's at a cheaper price for a larger amount. The only real difference, from what you can tell, is that its container is a bag rather than a box. So you go home and get comfortable with the Captain only to find that there is something wrong. Perhaps you can't put your finger on it, but it's there. In this (musical, not nutritional) case, that unsavory catalyst that circulates throughout Draffin's output is a noticeable radio rock persuasion. This aspect of the music is really the downside that keeps this band from being what I would call a genuinely good product. For, with radio-rock, comes generic tendency, repetition, and lyrical decay.
In the Echoes of This Mind does have a definite amount of upsides. The vocals, while average and far from unique, are utilized in a stylistic manner and truly coincide with the album’s tone and meaning. Many of the tracks are catchy on a skin-deep level, the production is exceptionally good (especially for an unsigned band), and, even if only sporadically, the guitar work does implicate emotion and raw skill.
In parallel to these positive aspects, there are also plenty of aspects with blatantly negative connotation. The most obvious and unattractive of these is what I mentioned earlier, the noticeable presence of a generic radio rock conductance. This facet of the album is brought forth in the repetitious radio rock intros that six of the seven songs maintain; extremely forgettable lyrics, and often Hinder-esque vocal patterns.
The flaw in this seven-song compilation that bothers me the most is the lyrics. With writing being my passion, aspiration, and current form of employment, I invest much consideration into a band's lyrical inclinations. When I selected this album from the list of CDs that needed reviewing, I thought its title might lay allusion to the songs' lyrics, perhaps making them contemplative or psychological. This certainly isn’t the case. The lyrics could seemingly be traced to a Three Days Grace fan club, with concepts that rarely stray from the norm (first person dictation of present tense addresses either towards a female or reflected towards oneself). I can say, however, that the vocal execution makes these lyrics much more presentable. The vocals often elevate to sub-screaming and this, combined with dualistic guitar work, make the album's last song “Solarity II: The Acceptance” remotely comparable to say Trophy Scars.
Despite the exceptionally unbalanced ratio of positive/negative thus far in the review, I do not dislike this album. The songs do consistently have appealing hooks and inconsistently have impressive drumming. As I have mentioned, though the vocals are not entirely dynamic, they do apply to the context and are as good as you are likely going to receive from the radio-post hardcore band. I don't see Draffin stirring up much noise within the AbsolutePunk.net fan base unless they are suddenly struck by the notions of creativity and philosophy. I would, however, be very hesitant to release them from eye's view; the group has the tools, just not the direction.
Recommended If You Like: Atreyu, Letter Kills, It Dies Today