Sly & The Family Drone
Walk It Dry
Released 17th July 2020
Rhys Delany tries to get to grips with Sly And The Family Drone’s insane new record.
Walk It Dry is a special record. Not only is it a triumphant progression from 2019’s Gentle Persuaders, but it’s also birthed out of a true labour of love. The album was recorded after a year-long recovery process after a car crash that left The Family Drone’s main man Matt Cargill with a collapsed lung and fractured humorous.
While I don’t think the near-fatal incident has much to play in the culmination of this album, you can certainly hear a new kind of ferociousness; pent-up energy oozes out into scattergun drum fills while a maniacal saxophone cries for freedom.
Midway through the album, you can’t switch off. Bulgarian Steel has a militaristic rhythm and a stern discipline. The track is forceful; looking you up and down as if to ask ‘Are you still listening?’ and you’d be too scared to say no. Similarly, on Shrieking Grief you can’t help but listen to every detail as they leak out of a pure wall of sound.
This being said, the album doesn’t shy away from it’s quieter moments. Droning horns and throat singing lace the album with a sense of psychedelic ritual. A peyote nightmare that you’re forced to confront. You might even find yourself convinced that the spirit of Ornette Coleman is being summoned through your speakers.
Then we reach My Torso Is A Shotgun. It’s insane, it’s intense, it sounds like a mind imploded. There are not enough superlatives to explain why this song is so powerful.
The album closes with slight respite. The song Tsukiji is slow and marauding. While it’s not comfortable, it certainly not unwelcome. It’s hard to believe this album is 33 minutes long. If listening from start to finish you focus on one thing only, the music. Walk It Dry is the perfect example of sonic escapism.
Walk It Dry can be purchased here from July 17th.
All words by Rhys Delany more of his writing can be found at his author’s archive here.