Jalen Cliatt (guitar/vocals), Sy Rossi (bass/vocals), Ryker Keath (percussion) and Garrett Moore (keys/vocals) are DRVR. I think the tag at the bottom of their Bandcamp page might be silly. On their four song self-titled EP DRVR it's hard to make any kind of case for this band being punk, grunge or funk. This band actually reminded of the exceptional pop/jazz band The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group.
The songs are light, fun and downright cheerful at times but the lyrics often have a hint of melancholy. Take for instance “Human Music” where they sing, “the good times never want to stay / the bad times want to leave / I wash it all away.” I loved the juxtaposition. The vocal harmonies are exceptional on this song as well. There is also plenty of room for the vocals as the guitars are clean which made it easy to hear what he was saying.
The opener “Chief” is addictively catchy. It feels like an old traditional song (with a hint of ragtime and jazz) that musicians were making in the ‘40s and ’50s. There is a horn in there somewhere that works with the vibe. Great song. ”Aphorism” feels more modern sounding. The full band is in effect here and is probably the most single worthy of the songs. The slight jazzy feel is in full effect and the song feels like a cool summer breeze.
They close with “Color Of Your Basement” which sounds most similar to ”Aphorism.” I was impressed by the time changes, the fills and the overall technical ability. There is some great musicianship on this song.
My only issue with this highly enjoyable four-song EP is the production. This is a lo-fi sounding EP. I would argue that that style doesn’t work great with this style of music. I want to hear all the subtleties and nuances of the music and the EP felt a little held back because of that.
Overall, the band goes four for four with the songs. Hopefully, a full-length is on the way some time in the not too distant future.
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