Record of the Week: The Drin - Engines Sing for the Pale Moon 12"

The Drin: Engines Sing for the Pale Moon 12” (Drunken Sailor) I’d noticed a few people I trust hyping up this record by the Drin on Drunken Sailor, and I’m glad I took the time to check this out, because it’s a fantastic record. Originally released in a small cassette edition, Drunken Sailor plucked this gem from potential obscurity and gave it the wider release it deserved. Describing the Drin’s sound is difficult, because they don’t sound quite like anything I’ve heard before. I’ve seen a few people (including Will Fitzpatrick in the label’s official blub) mention Joy Division, but I feel like that does the Drin a disservice because they sound so completely different from the legions of Joy Division wannabees that have populated the punk scene for the past forty-odd years. Thankfully, you won’t hear any faux-Ian Curtis baritone vocals here, but you will hear a couple of tracks that have chord progressions that are familiar from Joy Division songs as well as some of the subtler elements of Joy Division’s sound, such as the heavily processed drum sounds and the steady motorik rhythms that powered so many of their greatest songs. But there are other ingredients in the stew too. I hear plenty of UKDIY pop in the Drin’s scrappy but accessible sound, and there’s a palpable (and non-cheesy) reggae influence that you hear in some of the heavy bass lines (see the standout track “Down Her Cheek a Pearly Tear”) and the frequent use of the melodica. It all adds up to a record that’s dense with distinctive atmosphere. Engines Sing for the Pale Moon really transports you to another place, and it’s a place I’ve been addicted to visiting ever since the first time I put this record on.

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