A horrible hack

Dry Heaves

Slim Pickings

Year Released: 2015
Format: LP
Label: Adult Crash - Viral Age
 
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Feb 14, 2016
DRY HEAVES have earned a UK reputation as a band that brings the party, and have lately been spreading the Yorkshire gospel more widely through US and Euro tours. I even caught their dulcet tones on a MRR radio show. Brings up mental images of Avi prowling the front of the stage and a lot of good humour and dancing. This is their debut LP, 13 tracks of bullish, swaggering punk with a twinkle in its eye. They seem to have been saving up songs for a couple of years - their most recent couple of 7"s are reprised in full here.

Their strengths are in energy and songcraft - transitions work well, parts interlock smoothly, backing vocals are neatly placed, the rhythms are right. This is why they come off so well live. Bry's drumming is rock-solid and unobtrusively guides the action. Songs like "Where ya going", "Gi'ore" and "Slim pickings" on side A, or "Big city" and "Monotony" on the flip, show them pairing these strengths with barnstorming riffs and neat touches of detail like the more delicate chiming guitarwork in "Gi'ore". These are moments when all the parts work together and DRY HEAVES can go toe to toe with the best in the genre.

They're not totally consistent over the album's course, and occasionally devolve into placeholder-ish riffs ("No control") or lean too heavily on thin ideas ("Relief"). I get tripped up mid-singalong sometimes by odd emphasis, the music's beat working against the natural cadence of the words, so you end up with slightly awkward lines like "Where are you go-ING," "To beLIEVE in THE / DE-mocratic END" or "no just-ICE." Collectively, not sins bad enough to send a gig-goer out for a smoke mid-set, but they pop out on repeated listens.

The LP as a whole: some cracking highlights, never less than solid and a set of tunes that will undoubtedly soundtrack future antics in the pit at the Lughole. The great artwork is worth a mention too, the band as cartoon characters (plus an added snakey visitor) menacingly scaling a spire, weapons and skate decks in hand.


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