Dromes

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The first thing that strikes you about Dromes, the debut album from Younghusband, is the unusual clarity of Nicolas Vernhes' production. Unusual for a Sonic Cathedral release and unusual for a band who have previously seemed to revel in their lo-fi obscurity. Opener, "Running Water" is crystal clear and reaps the benefits instantly with its subtle acoustic guitar and delicate overdubbed vocals, building momentum gradually only to stop suddenly and pave way for "Comets Crossed", one of the album's finest and most radio friendly tracks. These borderline commercial moments tread a similar ground to the early 80's pop that The Horrors and SCUM have emulated in recent years with varying degrees of success, but there's more than enough room for everyone when the melodies are as good as they are here. "Left Of The Rocks" is probably the high point of Dromes, particularly the spine tingling chorus and synth saturated outro which dabbles with some lovely Spacemen 3 drone. The album has a couple of weak moments: the slightly dull duo of "Reunion Message" and "Wavelength" seem to find the band struggling for ideas, but on the whole its an assured debut which is well worth the wait. When crackle writer, Adam Taylor caught the band back in early 2012 he pondered "we are confronted with beautiful (and beautifully) cohesive climaxes, the culmination of building and layering good tuneful and melodic ideas over equal measure of rampant sonic abandon and solid, powerful rhythm". They've definitely ditched some of that "sonic abandon" but the quote pretty much sums up Dromes. It's rare that a band with such promise delivers a debut that harnesses what made them so good in the first place, but with Dromes, Younghusband have cracked it.

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