Sunday, 27 November 2016

Single: Slow Riot - Absent Dreams

Slow Riot Absent Dreams

Slow Riot - Absent Dreams

- Review by James McGregor

Info: As with their previous single 'Trophy Wife', the Limerick three-piece open 'Absent Dreams' on full throttle. This song has more breadth than the prior, with a simple reverb-laden, droning guitar hook. There is always a palpable groove in Slow Riot’s songs and this is no exception. As singer, Niall opens with the words, "drag me down", so the guitar and ride-laden drums pull down, allowing the poignant lyrics to be delivered with his trademark apathy: the line "cos your life is meaningless", a highlight of this emotive yet detached juxtaposition. The band’s use of space within the confines of a strict 4/4 groove is one of the song's most important assets and it allows the chorus to bloom when it comes. Dynamically, this is the most aware I’ve heard the band.

The song is quite straight forward in general arrangement, but the details and intricacies the band use push it beyond the pale of where most bands attend to detail. The subtle guitar line in the second chorus is beautifully melodic and this is juxtaposed with the driving, distorted guitar that follows. Drummer Paul’s constant, yet never too obvious, development of the drums and confidence to return to a simple yet effective 4/4 rock beat when necessary also really adds to the efficacy of each section of the song. The ultimate beauty of this song, for me, is in the fact that it’s essentially a simple, catchy, guitar-based song: Yet beneath the surface there lies a delicate, crafted, poignant piece of art.

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