Review: Dry The River – Weights And Measures

If you really want to experience this album, put your headphones on and turn it up as loud as it will go. That way you’ll get the best of this heart-wrenching, soul-moving five piece from London. Dry the River pour so much emotion into their songs you won’t know what to do with yourself. There’s a sadness in the songs that will make you want to cry, but the combination of music, lyrics and Peter Liddle’s beautifully melodic voice will haul you back into feeling elated before you can shed a tear.

Formed in 2009, Dry the River have a number of favourable reviews under their belt, having played on both sides of the Atlantic before they head off to Europe to show off their skills. Their new EP Weights and Measures is perfectly weighted with the five members of the band and deals with the ever-shifting balance between love and loss. Produced by Peter Katis, who can boast working with both The National and Interpol, the record is available in a digital format as well as a limited edition 10”.

The title track, Weights and Measures echoes a sentiment that we’ve all felt: ‘I was prepared to love you and never expect anything of you’. Even if you’ve not recently felt a loss you’ll understand that ‘familiar sting of the wood cutter’s swing to the tree’. You’ll be drawn in by Liddle’s voice and the wonderful mix of guitars and violins which allows the music to alternate between relaxed acoustics, raw chords and classical melodies. The lyrics deal with dark aspects of life, as in Bible Belt – ‘lo and behold your mother is drinking again’ – which matches the darkness of winter that’s settling in. The cold is mentioned a number of times throughout the tracks, which contributes to the seamless composition of this album.

That said, there’s enough diversity between the tracks to stop you feeling bored and keep you wanting more. When dealing with such emotion one would expect clichés of a kind, but none can be found in this work. It’s all original and personal and will have you trying to sing along even if you don’t know the lyrics. This band is human and it shows through in their work; they’re not trying to fool you, just sing out their experience in a way that we can all relate to. Sweet and strong, all at the same time there’s an epic element to the music that will get your heart trying to dance to the beat.

For more information on their upcoming live dates, check out their website www.drytheriver.net

Sara West