Album Review: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Dragons

15 August 2019 | 2:46 pm | Alasdair Belling

"First impressions of 'Dragons' are forgettable at best."

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Opening cuts from Dragons, the new LP from American troubadour Drew Holcomb, Family and End Of The World don’t take a slice of Nashville cheese – they scoop the entire thing off the platter to the point of sickening indulgence. It’s not until the title track that things begin to look more positive, and even then the campfire spoken word verses are more pantomime than folky storytelling.

However, as things continue, the sprawling, Americana-flavoured groove of You Want What You Can’t Have and the Nick Cave-esque You Never Leave My Heart combine great songwriting and beautiful instrumentation, evoking images of pastoral US families huddled together and getting on with life.

Things take a real left turn with closing track Bittersweet, with the synth layering under its sombre lyrical message the first real moment of experimentation on this LP – it works a charm. First impressions of Dragons are forgettable at best, but towards the conclusion Holcomb’s talent as an arranger and lyricist shines through like rays of sunshine through the storm clouds.