I was first turned onto DRAYTER back in 2014 when they opened for POP EVIL and absolutely floored me from beginning to end of their set. A few lineup changes and sound tweaks later and the result is more pop/rock than before, but members Cole Schwartz (guitars) and Liv Miner (vocals/guitars) wear it well. Over the course of eight songs on just-released debut album Nine (Platinum Jack Entertainment) the duo consistently makes music that is emotional, heavy at times, and most assuredly danceable in all the right places.
Right from the get-go “Criminal” and “Not Alone” were the favorites. The former has such a hook it’s hard not to feel like a bass fish being reeled in, and the latter is an anti-bullying song, something all of us at A&GS stand firmly behind. Not only that, when it takes off it does so at warp speed, taking you along for the ride. It’s pretty hard not to get swept up in this one. On the more pop side of things opener “Run” sounds like something PARAMORE would write today, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The guitars on “So What” mesh perfectly with Miner’s lilting vocal, and the combo makes for a fun listen. “Best I Had” is one of the heavier, edgier tunes, and another album standout. Things slow down and get real deep for “Mother Says”. I think a lot of you will be affected by this one, especially if you don’t/didn’t have the greatest relationship with the parents. I’m very lucky in that I did, but I can feel the angst in Miner’s voice, and Schwartz applies the appropriate pressure to the wounds that will no doubt be opened and hopefully healed by this number.
“Unchained Love” ramps up the heavy once again, which only cements the fact that these two are out to make both the pop AND rock fans love them. Pretty smart if you ask me. Closing things out is “Still Here”, the last of my four favorites. The guitars lure you in and seduce your ears, while the lyrics and vocal delivery are both pretty venomous. All told DRAYTER really did a great job on this debut album Nine, and I think that quite possibly the sky’s the limit for this band.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Still Here”, “Criminal”, “Not Alone”, “Best I Had”