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Song Of The Month October 2011: “Won’t Be Long” by Drums of Death

October 30, 2011

This time of year sees fireworks, tricks, treats and people attempting to scare one another.

Okay, probably not much of the latter as in the UK it’s surely more a case of using it as an excuse to drink and have fun (at least that’s my understanding). America sees it as a time of…. well…. pass. This isn’t place for conjecture of such nature anyway.

Instead it’s time to have a song to represent the whole scary scene and who else but the delightfully face-painted Scotsman known to most audiences as Drums Of Death. The song chosen this month comes from his debut album “Generation Hexed” which was released last October, an album that’s all “love songs and rave horns” according to the artist himself. “Won’t Be Long” was also released as the first single from his debut album but as a stand-alone track doesn’t quite explain the whole picture.

The image of Drums of Death would inspire thoughts of heavy metal and/or dark house music but what is provided is something a lot more palatable for a broader market while still nodding in the directions of techno, electro and house music.

“Won’t Be Long” is one of Drums of Death’s more accessible songs and while the sound is of course electronic and there is a certain darkness to the whole effort, it’s never downbeat. It really is a peculiar combination if you go by imagery as the be-all and end-all in musical judgements. Which of course you shouldn’t.

The track does have an accompanying video which was shot entirely on a Nokia N8. The “Making Of” is below should you wish to know more.

“Won’t Be Long” as a track is not particularly innovative and does glean heavily from influences such as the classic New York garage scene but this is not to be negative on his efforts. After all, “Generation Hexed” is the first album under the guise of Drums of Death and it gives off thoughts of potential than anything else. If you like, it provides some building blocks of publicity which can be built upon whichever way the artist sees fit. The whole idea, according to the man himself, is to take the hardcore, metal and punk-rock aesthetic and apply it to dance music. With an energetic live show to boot, Drums of Death is moving forwards and it would appear the amiable Scotsman is enjoying the ride and seeing where it takes him rather than having any pre-conceived notions.

One track that stands out on the album in terms of a dark vibe akin to the ideals of Halloween is probably the 8bit mood-maker “Creak”. This track also highlights a main thought of the album: structure.

The album as a whole does seem to jerk rather than flow but it is an album that requires a few plays to really take it all in. Of course for some one play will be enough but it’s an album with perhaps more layers than what one would think on first listen. It does seem as if it is a case of the man behind the make-up, Colin Bailey, trying out different things to see what fits for the persona as well as moving an audience out of their comfort zone. This is illustrated by the final track on the album “Voodoo Lovers” which is rather cheesy and seems one of those “the party is over, wave goodbye everyone” type of moments. It doesn’t feel too out of place but it does seem an effort to surprise the listener and illustrate a wider artistic canon of the musician.

You can’t help but be intrigued by the whole voodoo get-up that Colin Bailey has created for Drums of Death and his stance of wanting to provide something visual rather than the typical guy-behind-a-laptop is commendable. The sounds are promising and judging by his recent efforts i.e. his recent Black Waves EP, the soundscape he is utilising is one that is changing. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead in the next few years for Mr. Bailey.

Enjoy your Halloween however you decide to spend it.

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