English solo rock artist Barns Courtney is already making noise and establishing a name for himself. With single releases like “Glitter & Gold” and “Fire” already under his belt, he recently released his first EP, The Dull Drums, where Barns Courtney transforms the dull into exciting.
The Dull Drums opens up with the first track, “Fire.” After a few bangs of distorted drums that fiercely grip onto listeners, the song quiets back down with soft acoustic guitar strumming, drum beating, and vocal breathing. Already we’re off to a perfect start here. Barns Courtney’s vocal performance complements this style of music so much. His powerful voice as it bounces around on the blues scale gives off a mean and aggressive attitude and it’s only the first verse. The best part of this song is how the song explodes for the chorus, and everything from the vocals to the instrumentals go all out for an ideal arena rock-esque showdown.
The second track, “Glitter & Gold,” takes on a similar approach with the preceding track: A mean and gritty song with blues rock elements that is put more forward. In other words, there isn’t any quiet parts and the verses and choruses are more in your face. “Glitter & Gold” doesn’t really offer something different, and sounds like it’s keeping the energy going which was set forth by “Fire.”
“Little Boy” however certainly does push for something a little different in The Dull Drums. The relaxing acoustic guitar intro will allow listeners to close their eyes and relax a little bit, as Barns Courtney sings about memories and life. Additionally, just like the preceding tracks, “Little Boy” still depends heavily on the use of drums. We hear it in the chorus as it builds up to the part where Barns Courtney sings “Oooh” and “I’ll never let this go.” The dynamics work very well for this song, which conserves the song’s energy throughout the verses while going all out for the chorus, which is undoubtedly the best part of the song. “Little Boy” is a great song to have on repeat and is a great addition to a “sit back & relax” playlist.
“Hellfire” is performed true to the title of the song. The vocal melody and the backing vocals give off a fearful and eerie vibe. The chorus where Barns Courtney sings “Hellfire, hellfire, take my soul!” works almost perfectly like a chant, and it’s a great line for audiences to unleash their emotions and sing along with. The arrangement from beginning to end is very chaotic and ignites hellfire all round the listeners.
“Hands” ends The Dull Drums the way it started, but bringing a whole lot more energy from beginning to end. The song truly goes all out to close the EP out with a bang and has a catchy chorus right down to the “Ooh ooh’s” to make listeners sing along. However, the song lacks any sort of climax to close itself with a bang. “Hands” also uses distortion to make the song more aggressive and chaotic-sounding and while it becomes borderline exhausting it doesn’t fully cross the line. “Hands” brings the heat and is a perfect summer tune that should make listeners feel mean, up-beat, and sassy.
Overall, Barns Courtney has a solid debut EP in The Dull Drums. A little more variety between the music would make the album better as Barns Courtney has the talent and the range to bring more to the table. With that aside, each song is enjoyable from start to finish there’s really nothing to dislike about this album. The summer is coming up and you’re probably building your summer playlists. Why not add the charming Barns Courtney and The Dull Drums to it?
The Dull Drums marks Barns Courtney’s debut album and doesn’t disappoint, transforming the “dull” into “exciting” and bringing fire and gold with each track.