In recent months one band especially has stepped into its own light within the UK indie rock scene and that is Drop Down Smiling, a quartet from Coventry which has shown an ability to create irresistible infections through intelligently crafted and passionate songs. Their new EP Sign Here is a four song declaration of that fact and confirmation of the growing acclaim and expectations being placed on the horizon of the band.
The members of the band met whilst in school and performed together under different guises whilst earning a stature and sculpting a presence which led the band to being recognised as one of the UK’s finest live unsigned acts by Kerrang radio and receiving a nomination for a Kerrang award, as well as signing to an independent label and seeing themselves supporting some major artists onstage. This was followed by a three year hiatus as life took its part in the course of things before the band returned in 2011 as Drop Down Smiling and with a new sound, soon reigniting their creativity to again firmly grab attention, the band since finding themselves played and enthused heavily about on the radio shows at www.audioburger.com as well as numerous other eager sites.
Sign Here follows the two track Jason Wilcock produced release Down From Your Skies which was well-received upon release in 2011, its songs now making up half of the new EP which leaves no one in any doubt as to the craft and impressive invention of the band. Put On A Show opens up the record and passions, its initial engagement a tender caress of guitar within a hazy atmosphere which drifts down upon the ear and thoughts. Picking up its feet the song entertains crisp beckoning rhythms from drummer James Porter whilst the guitars of Mike Brown and Chris West drizzles some sonic enticement into the air, before expelling a big breath of vocal harmonies and the instantly compelling bass lures of Martin Dale. Once into its stride the outstanding vocals of West narrate an emotively textured embrace within the song with those harmonies again expanding moments with all wrapped in the fizzing electro sounds and accompanied by the excellent roaming presence of the bass. Across its length the track moves through gentle reflective persuasions and contagious energetic recruitment of the senses with a seamless formidable ease to leave a feeling of joy and breathlessness.
The impressive start is then surpassed by the outstanding Down From Your Skies, a song which primes the ear with again an ambient electronic wash before allowing its rhythmic sinews from drums and bass to sculpt an instantaneously caging ardour before the once more strikingly impressive vocals of West and group harmonies enflame the song and emotions fully. The track lures participation within its first chorus tease ensuring in no time there is a full involvement between listener and band which is never relinquished even when the track is exploring its borders with imaginative guitar enterprise and note bending invention. As with its predecessor, the song is the perfect alignment of snarling energy and almost raptorial riffs with pure melodic grace and unquenchable four part seductive harmonies, the combination a sound and encounter which is impossibly fresh and contagious whilst sounding like no other.
Time Slow Down reflects its title, its emotive breath a gentle weave with vocals bringing their own tender embrace to bear within the initially guitar carved restrained grandeur. Within a moment of its warm mesmeric opening the song shows another side to the band, one of many they are capable of conjuring within their magnetic songwriting and sound you would suspect, and leaves a potent fascination and invitation to fester keenly within thoughts and emotions. As it releases more of its heart the electronic dazzle of the song spreads its melancholic charms before the guitars expel an abrasive sign and get to work with an incendiary persistence side by side with the shadow offering impact of again the bass and drums. Without the virulence of the previous songs it instead attaches its hooks though emotional beauty and honed descriptive sonic imagination to breed just as potent a reaction.
Closing track Why Should We Change also opens with an electro brewed ambience and if there is any niggle about the release it is only that all the songs begin in relatively the same manner, not that they hold any real similarity from then on. The final song stands face to face with the listener, its sounds tall and boisterous whilst the vocals range from snapping at the ear with a nu-metal like attack to a smouldering melodic enticement. The song shifts and twists with unpredictability yet is a fluid and assessable treat, another sign of the band creating what is essentially pop rock far beyond the majority of other bands. Occasionally as here the tracks with their catchy insatiable temptation belie the creativity breeding their lure but only a few returning ventures are needed to unveil all the quality and depths of the band and sound.
Drop Down Smiling will be on the lips of the masses one can only surmise on the evidence of their Sign Here EP but why wait when that excellent feast is waiting to be devoured.
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