Text: Paul van der Zalm
Louisa Roach is a woman with a mission, a militant of the purest kind for a better world. She makes no secret of her message on ‘Behave Myself’, the third album from her ‘She Drew The Gun’ project, which is released today. This makes it the successor to ‘Revolution of Mind’, proclaimed by the BBC as one of the best albums of 2018.
The message lies in breaking down the elite power structures that maintain inequality of opportunity, because before you know it, you are yourself “next in line” and you too will be left behind. This is the theme of the second song with distorted vocals over a Chemical Brothers/Prodigy-like beat. “If this is the way it is, I won’t participate anymore”, Karlsson will say. Roach means the same thing in “Cut Me Down”, a legitimately up-tempo single with a nice guitar solo midway through and the lyrics “This is where I stand my ground // until freedom flows like water // to where my daughter sleeps safe and sound”. Make sure to check out the accompanying video, which ends with the protest song from the impressive Las Tesis demonstration in Santiago, Chile in 2019, against violence towards women. The song ‘Class War (How Much)’ speaks for itself; it is constructed as a question and answer game with Roach as a punk poet and a screaming chorus answering over a tasty bass line. This punk attitude can also be heard in the relatively heavy opening track “Origin Song” with an exciting futuristic intro and doubled vocals.
The other tracks are, unlike what one might think, musically quite pop: ‘Diamonds In Our Eyes’ sounds almost like Sue The Night and ‘The Rose’s Tale’ is like a song beautifully sung by Natalie Imbruglia over a sober rhythm. With over 5 minutes, the longest track on the album, ‘Panopticon’, is even a powerful disco track, but in the style of New Order. The nonchalant ‘All Roads To Nowhere’ is also musically interesting. Because it starts with spoken vocals and turns into a canon at the end, it evokes links with Wolf Alice. It all comes together in the title track, the message of which is (of course) that Roach will definitely not stand still.
This is the first collaboration with Ross Orton as producer, who has previously worked with Arctic Monkeys, Working Men’s Club and The Kills, and you can certainly hear those influences. Our advice to She Drew The Gun for the next album: forget about the noisy synthesizer that you hear on some of the songs.
Submarine Cat Records