Tekst: Paul van der Zalm
Translation: Laura Rosierse
Dripping Trees is one of those young and stubborn bands the way we like to see which is why we’re bringing it to your attention. Anyone who regularly visits the CHAOS Music Magazine site knows that we have been following the guys from Eindhoven for a while and we were very curious about ‘Fuel of Mankind’, the debut album that was released today.
We were already impressed by previously released singles ‘Distant Light’, ‘Imaginary Order’ and the intriguing ‘Sink’ that gets under your skin. And although the songs differ from each other, this clearly continues the line that was started last year with the single ‘Grieved’ (which is not on the album).
The album was announced as a concept album and that’s how you can see it. Human evolution is central to this. Sometimes it sounds angry, for example in ‘Imaginary Order’, other times it is looked at with amazement. For example, the narrative ‘Alba’ is about the joint experiments of coasters and scientists to develop a ‘glow in the dark’ version of a rabbit. Singer Koen Ruijs knows how to keep the attention here, so you don’t realize that with 6:18 this is one of the longest songs on the album.
What a large part of the tracks has in common is the enormous dynamics. In ‘Imaginary Order’ it comes very quickly and this song also ends in acceleration. Opening track ‘Orange Clouds’ has a crescendo by the book; the modest beginning ‘We Are Leaving Soon’ has a fantastically bombastic ending.
The concept idea is supported by some spoken short interludes of an artificial intelligence (a ‘computer voice’). That sounds funny and keeps things in balance, but especially ‘To Spread Our Own Imagination’ is grim in terms of content, because it is about warfare. The band sound is also perfectly balanced throughout the album: Stef van der Wielen occasionally plays the stars of heaven on guitar, but Stijn Luijk and Stef Leijten on drums and bass, respectively, are given plenty of space and it is not at the expense of anything. the singing or vice versa.
Of all songs, only ‘Blood Moon’ is actually a bit of an odd man out, in a positive sense: it is a catchy rock anthem as we are used to from the Editors for example. As things aside: you can hear your own band name in the text. You could see the instrumental sci-fi intermezzo ‘For An All-Seeing Eye’ that precedes it as an intro to this song.
Closing number is the appropriately titled ‘Closing Track’ reminiscent of Radiohead. Despite such a wonderfully dramatic ending, ‘Lullaby’ would also have been a fitting title for this. However, the question is whether this will lead to pleasant dreams or whether you will be lulled to sleep with the motto ‘welcome to Dystopia’.
Just this: on January 13th, Dripping Trees was one of the bands on the CHAOS stage during Streamsonic, Pinguin Radio’s alternative showcase festival; you can watch the performance here.