Drugdealer - Raw Honey - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Drugdealer - Raw Honey

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2019-04-19
Drugdealer - Raw Honey
Drugdealer - Raw Honey

Drugdealer are the kind of band who you think ought to be doling out some heavy riffs, given their name, but instead, they play towards a softer, poppier AM rock style, dragging you back to the 70s. Raw Honey is the second album by the collective, led by Michael Collins, picking up where they left off in 2016.

When an album starts up with the keys in the ignition, turning the engine over, a sound signalling a door is open, said door being closed - well, you know it’s going to be a road trip. That’s what this is, your arm out the window, warm in the setting sun. Even the low timbre of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering on ‘Honey’ is soothing, broken up with bendy guitar licks.

It might seem dismissive to compare this type of music with an era already long over and done with, but it’s not at all a bad thing, plus it’s painfully obvious where the inspiration lies. ‘Fools’ throws in some additional sax, but it’s compelling features are the Wurlitzer, the soft-rock guitar and the falsetto choir of vocals for the melodic chorus.

‘If You Don’t Know Now, You Never Will’ has a piano progression which will remind you of The Beatles, kicking things up a notch with airy backing vocals and strings. Even that title, it seems like a throwback, right down to the casual, sage delivery it’s given in the song itself.

Collins has simple wisdom in spades; relatable emotions are doled out across the album, skating close to the line of becoming too cliche. ‘Lonely’ begins quite close to that line, but if you’re not tapping your foot or nodding your head after the first jovial chorus then you might as well pack up now and move along; “And what about me? I get lonely too” is a generous, openly empathetic rope for a listener to grab on to.

‘London Nightmare’ reaches a little too far in the case to capture a classic sound. Rolling drums fail to inject any pace and skewiff vocals warble lines which feel uncomfortable to listen to. Elsewhere, the album is padded with a few instrumentals - they’re pleasant but they feel like they disrupt the flow of an album which could really bolster even the lowest of spirits.

Mood music for waning summer evenings, Drugdealer are certainly worth anyone’s time. Dedicated to brightening the world of music, you only need to hear the horn section of ‘Lost In My Dream’ to know they’re getting a lot of joy out of it for themselves.

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