The 5 piece alt rock ensemble that is DRAW are an intriguing band to listen to. From inner Sydney the band have crafted their music from a variety of backgrounds. Ironically the name itself as coined by the band themselves is in reference to the ‘Mega Jackpot Mega Draw’, a great analogy really as you feel each track (each ball) may well be a snippet of influence that makes up sound of DRAW.
2014 was a busy year, the band releasing and touring their debut single ‘I’ll Save you’ and following up by dropping another single ‘Ish’. It didn’t stop there, hungry for more and keeping the best and biggest for last releasing what leads us to this piece ‘Wave Rider Blues’ EP featuring two more tracks on top of the aforementioned singles. It looks like this year is kicking off in the same fashion with DRAW hitting the road once more in early January to rock stages across the east side of Australia. So if you were heading along, what would you be getting yourself into?
In short I would say the twilight zone. From go the EP starts with ‘I’ll Save you’, classic chill wave rock guitars crash over a rolling bass line. The vocal lines are very much something influenced by The Doors, the slow romantic hooks that almost have a 50’s vibe in the way they present themselves. ‘Ish’ is delivered in a similar vibe, there is however a more pronounced surf swagger to it, especially in the chorus. By now from the tracks so far you begin to think DRAW could be slotted into the breezy, relaxed rocker letter box, but that would only be half of the story.
Keep yourself in the same era of the 70’s, up the tempo and put a slight distortion on the vocals and you find that there is more of Led Zeppelin thing going on in ‘Sweet Mary’, especially with the guitar tone, its got a cool old school feel to it. Indeed the crux of the song ‘Mary-Jane’, it’s a name you rarely hear in this day and age and again makes you feel nostalgic. There is also a Black Sabbathesque quality to the vocals which well and truly confirms, the characters in DRAW grew up on the good juice of past generations. Another fork appears along the path of ‘Wave Rider Blues’, aptly being the title track of the release, we are back to a familiar slower drum pace accompanied by heavier distorted guitar sounds. Moving forward some years we can draw similarities to the vocal style of Kurt Cobain yet crossed with almost a Danzig contribution as the song progresses but only ever so slightly. ‘Wave Rider Blues’ is song that doesn’t hold any one constant sound, rather invites a variety of churns along the way leading into a clever guitar solo evolving into a dreamy fuzz rock climax that suddenly has you chewing within a psychedelic space.
This is a release wherein its key strength lie in the variety of sounds on offer. You get the sense that DRAW want to be atypical, different and experimental. Like a kid in a candy shop there is plenty of flavor to choose from in just 4 tracks. While the lyrics are tough to discern at times and the sounds are not something entirely new, the variety and imagination present in ‘Wave Rider Blues’ is something to be admired. DRAW are appealing as they keep you guessing as to what is coming next, anyone who appreciates the classic rock sounds of the 70’s will not be disappointed.
– Reviewed by Morgan O’Brien