Formed in 2009, the Dublin quintet The Fallen Drakes may not break any new musical ground with ‘Death Of An Actress’, but thanks to an easily accessibly sound combined with top notch production from U2 and Kasabian producer Ger McDonnell, their EP is still a strong debut. Musically, it finds a space at the soft end of stadium rock, lighter than U2, but with a quality that’s often reminiscent of Coldplay and Snow Patrol.
During the opening number, ‘Masquerade’, Brian McGovern’s vocals are solid, but the best moments are provided by Michal Bartolen’s lead guitar work, which utilises a ringing tone and a delay. Things toughen up slightly near the song’s close, but without losing any of the commercial impact. ‘Don’t Cry’ is noticeably weaker at first, but the upfront guitar sound gives the number a great momentum; Hyder Ali’s bass work is punchy throughout, providing a great counterpart to Nabil Ali’s drumming which, as with the previous number, relies a great deal on hi-hat and sharp snare work. After a few plays, ‘Don’t Cry’ sounds equally as strong; a number which presents The Fallen Drakes in good form, with top performances from all concerned.
‘Lights On’ presents The Fallen Drakes at their punchiest. The guitars take on a more angular approach, before bouncy, bass dominated verses become reminiscent of The Kaiser Cheifs and Frankie & The Heartstrings. The musical performances are okay – Hyder Ali turns in a couple of simple but effective bass runs – but a chorus which relies far too much on one line shows the song writing here is in need of sharpening. ‘Love Again’ takes a similar approach to alternative rock/pop demonstrated during ‘Don’t Cry’, but ups the stakes, giving The Fallen Drakes a tougher sound. Michel Bartolen’s lead guitar work maintains a strong presence, while Nabil Ali drumming leans farther in a rock direction, favouring a pounding approach with fewer quirks and intricacies.
Despite their very generic approach, The Fallen Drakes brand of jangly, guitar-based rock/pop is very professional and often enjoyable. You can stream the EP from the widget below or download it for FREE here!