Emotion in music is fundamental. Stories with engaging plots may not be the first thing you think of when listening to a record in full bloom, but when a plot thickens, when it catches you off guard, and you become immersed, you can’t help but feel the effects. Good lyricism is an art-form in itself, a complex way of putting words together in unison, and making the listener feel a part of the drama and the action. Often, there is music which sonically lives up to the name, but then lyrically it can be lacklustre.
Seattle band Dragged Under champions great lyricism with highly charged instrumentals, meaning that they’ve tweaked and tweaked to bring their style of punk rock up a notch. Also, within this album, Upright Animals, there are songs which rail against the grain, that break down norms, and tell us that this band means business. Not only do they play well, they enforce lyrics which convey lost hope, damaged possibilities, and political strain. The name of the record tells us all that we’re essentially upright animals, and some of us are good and some of us are not.
The band examines the state of decay here as well. The world around them splinters and they can’t do anything about it but sing and play hard. Upright Animals starts proceedings. Such an infectious track, it examines genocide and destruction. The riff pleases the ears, and the song does what it sets out to do, and that is to tell us about broken patterns. Never Enough starts with a technical riff, and the song conveys a ruthless youth, and growing up as a failure. The musicality is brilliant here. Suffer goes along the lines of broken love, and the technical guitar parts add intensity. Lyrically, it’s all about being there for someone in a bleeding world.
Dragged Under is a talented quintet. Their music hits all the boxes in terms of musical ability and the art-form that is lyricism.
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