Sally Draper comprised of Ryan O'Leary (guitar/vocals/piano) and Bob Osowski (guitar/bass/drums/vocals/piano) is a band from New Jersey that recently released an album entitled DOES TOO. The band got some traction at the beginning of 2016 pretty soon after they formed. They played shows, appeared on a Rock Against Hate compilation with some notable artists and started to build a fanbase.
The band has an aesthetic that lies somewhere between The Blood Brothers and Les Savy Fav. The vocals are intense to say the least. I was reminded of Tom Waits but if he was singing at the top of his natural range. The vocals are sometimes off key which had its charm at times and whether the vocalist is straining his voice or not it sounds like he is shouting at the top of his lungs. It works extremely well when the music is intense but sometimes not as well when the music is subdued.
The recording was DIY but they made the wise decision to hand off the album to get it professionally mixed and mastered. I thought the instruments, especially the drums, which is quite often an issue with DIY recordings, sounded great.
They open with “The Air I Breathe” which starts with a soft picking guitar and vocals. The juxtaposition is striking. If you are a little put off I’d say just stick with it a little bit. I think it's fair to say that his vocals may take a little warming up to if you aren't used to this style. The next two songs “Spontaneity Preplanned” and “New York City Is A Fucking Headache” is where the band shines. The songs rock hard and the vocals fit the intensity of the music.
The band continues with well crafted and fun songs that sound like that would flourish in a live environment, “Ruthy, Forget Your Pain” is perhaps the highlight. It’s a little longer than the previous song and it felt like a centerpiece.
It was nice to have a change of pace with “87” but the more noticeable strain of the off key vocals didn't work as well. “A Walk In The Woods” is a success and takes advantage of another vocalist. The band has some more success as the album comes to a close with “Can't Handle Happiness” being a notable closer.
There are some tweaks here and there that I think the band can do to improve the sound but think they did a great job establishing a sound with this album. It felt cohesive and I enjoy this off-kilter style of punk that has been around but is a grey, ambiguous area. This band has a lot of potential. Recommended.
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