Dry The River - Alarms In The Heart
With hindsight maybe Dry The River didn’t quite get the timing right. Their debut album in 2012 had them lumped in with the Mumford & Sons set and it perhaps didn't fully represent the true sound of the band. But it was what it was. Violinist William Harvey has upped and left and taken those folk elements with him, leaving the rock - and softish rock at that. Which means that Alarms In The Heart is a definite push against the flow: as much of popular music becomes folk-y, TDR are meandering the other way. The rockier side was there on Shallow Bed but it was much more secondary, breaking free on the odd occasion, and singer Peter Liddle’s falsetto vocals suited those folk melodies and key changes.
Despite the screeching guitar the title track has a whiff of 'X Factor winner' about it; it’s anthemic yes, but there’s something about the chorus that’s too fluffy, too insincere, and the grab that ‘Hidden Hand’ makes for Kings Of Leon’s title is blindingly obvious. The rock thing does work in patches: ‘Rollerskate’ has passion and drama; ‘Roman Candle’ benefits from Emma Pollock guesting, even if it gets a little whiney at times. Truth is, songs like ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Everlasting Light’ are more representative - pretty pedestrian but with flashes of life. You just have to hope this river hasn’t quite run dry.