If every mountain is unique, and yet still a mountain by definition, then surely the same can be said for rock LPs. And this album is one hell of a mountain, and one that lead guitarist and vocalist Matt Bigland decided to create on his own again, before gathering very capable musicians to help bring things together live. Climbing it is pure exhilaration.
DP-U have used a conventional style, their alternative rock influences shining through proudly, the songs all bursting at the seams with riffs and drumbeats that make you go, “I know this!!”, and yet still manage to surprise, amaze and encapsulate – perhaps it’s Bigland’s incredible and distinctive vocals that do it. This is a hyper talented vocalist indeed; he ranges from high pitch in tracks like ‘Arizona Waiting’ and low calmness in ‘White T-Shirt And Jeans’.
DP-U have clearly mastered the craft. There’s simplicity in the satisfying distorted chords. Chords that take surprising turns – just listen as they plummet entire octaves in ‘Summer Gurl’, and how in the same track, they jump into a guttural bounce sure to work a treat in the pits.
It’s pretty damn speedy during the first five tracks, but with tracks six and seven we get to put our climbing gear to one side, stop camp for the night and watch the sun go down, particularly with ‘The Way We Came’, a beautiful track full of acoustics and glorious melody, a tear-jerker for those who tend to truly immerse themselves in music. ‘Draw A Line’ on the other hand is upbeat, one of those that makes you feel damn good about life. It has the most surprises – the mitigated distorted guitars pull you in, you enjoy it thoroughly the way it is, and then – BANG – it kicks off full force. The crash symbols go to town during the choruses, and an addictive riff follows.
The ending brings the tempo down, the final three tracks each have their own offering; ‘Start Again’ has melody in the perfect places, ‘Lip Hook Kiss’ has both that, and an undisputed heaviness – the monster riff halfway through proves it – and the title track has a methodical steadiness and a catchy chorus – which is simply the title being serenaded again and again – that stays with you long after the final drum beat.
Once it ends, it’s near impossible to listen to something else. This album leaves too much of an impression, and not just for the music aficionados. DP-U’s influences don’t need mentioning, those are obvious, but the band has their own effective style – their unique mountain. Give it a go. There’s one hell of a view at the top of it.