I’ve lately been discovering a lot of bands that are hard to describe, and that’s a good thing. Drgn King is such a band. Lead singer and guitartist Dominic Angelella and producer Brent “Ritz” Reynolds aren’t looking to stamp out cookie cutter material. Even the name of their project, with its missing vowels, makes you wonder what’s going on with them.
Their debut album, Paragraph Nights, is a great blend of pop, fuzz rock, electro, and moody chillwave. The title track seems like a somber introduction to the album, but “Wild Nights” and “Holy Ghost” (with its revival church floor-stomping beat and Theremin-like snyths) are anything but somber.
“Menswear” is one of the best cuts on the album, with skronking guitars and vocals that sound like Angelella is singing to the cheap seats. It’s also wonderfully snotty, with the end line of “Take it from me, I was there. / Oh? Well, I don’t care.”
“Barbarians” has some bass as slick as the blood on Conan’s boots and some excellent synth work from Reynolds. You might think the following track, “Warriors,” might be along the same theme as “Barbarians” industrial power, but it’s not. It’s almost a trip-hop track. It’s a great, mind-blowing switch in styles with snappy drum machine beats and a nice salute to one of the coolest movies of 1979.
“Altamont Sunrise” is not only a track Beck wishes he wrote, but also the track you’ve been waiting all summer to blare from your car stereo as you drive to and from the beach. The album’s closer, “Looking at You,” is another snappy, hand-clapping track that is part-psychedelia, part-arena rock, and part-creepy (hear those underlying synths?).
It’s hard to describe this record, but it’s not hard to hear how good it is. These guys have something good here. Get in on the ground floor. You’ll be able to say you knew about this cool band before everyone else.
~ Nik Havert
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at http://www.picklepress.net.
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