East Londoners, Dry The River add rock theatrics to the popular folk-bucolic genre. Like almost brethren Mumford + Sons and Fleet Foxes, they are full supporters of power harmonies, beards and violins. And even with their charming accents, they seemed to fit right in at their gig at the Glasslands Gallery, one of Williamsburg’s premier launching pads for breakout Indie groups.
But there was nothing playful about Dry The River’s motives; themes of faith, religion, addiction, and regret pervaded their lyrics. The haunting grit to front man Pete Liddle’s voice and the epically tragic melodies of each song pulled us collectively into their pastoral world. On the softly lulled ‘Demons‘, DTR revealed their darker side for the first time, speaking of their own troubled past: “We find those demons / day in and day out.”
Seamlessly moving into past single ‘Bible Belt’, Liddle’s voice quivered the opening lines, sounding vaguely reminiscent of Jeff Buckley—an honesty that seemed perfectly genuine. As the song picked up in pace, it began to run away from itself. But that proves to be Dry The River’s unique feature—to start with a quiet, lyrically peaceful tune and then to build upon that to forge pioneer folk-metal.
It’s a distinction that could prove profitable for them ahead of their 2012 full-length release Shallow Bed, out March 5th.
On the heartbreaking ‘Weights and Measures’. Liddle (in a trio with Matt Taylor and Scott Miller) cooed the sweet line “I was prepared to love you / And never expect anything from you,” the power in their unison deeply affecting. At the tune’s climax, every member of the group (including classically trained violinist Will Harvey) was shredding on their proper instrument, forming the intimate circle once again.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the folklore—there is something for everyone in Dry The River. Check out more of their tunes on their Soundcloud page here – www.soundcloud.com/drytheriver, and if you ever have a chance to catch their live show, you don’t want to miss it.
Dry The River is
Pete Liddle (vocals, guitar), Matt Taylor (guitar), Scott Miller (bass), Will Harvey (violin), Jon Warren (drums).