(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Riff Relevant recently received a submission from the Würzburg, Germany-based Dryad and while that’s nothing unusual for us, one sentence in particular caught my eye.
In providing a stylistic comparison to somewhat gauge Dryad by, they stated “For Fans Of Wo Fat, Dozer, Sasquatch or Big Business“.
Now, if you are going to name drop some bands and want to get my attention, you couldn’t have listed a better quartet than that. Yet this is potentially a double edged sword to some degree, because guess what comes with such an aligning? Yep, the need to make good on it, substantiate it, whichever.
I won’t prolong the suspense friends, as Dryad, aka Michael (bass / vocals), Sebastian (drums), and Bjorn (guitar), are pretty much shooting it straight. Their output is unquestionably heavy rock, the kind constructed on hulking riffs and great grooves. It also contains injections of bluesy Southern doom, shades of psychedelia, and even a tinge or so of modern metal.
As the working title implies, this five-song “Rehearsal Tape” was recorded live, more than likely sans overdubs or studio trickery. In other words, what you hear is what you get. What you get is the stoned-out, ball-busting fuzz of cuts like “The Advent Of Dawn” or the high octane “Overload“.
Each song is heavily reliant on its generous guitar deliveries, while the rhythms, and exceptionally exciting drumming, meld right into them and give stimulating emanations. The doomy, periodic fuel-pumping, feedback-smattered “Wayfarer’s Birth“, with its throaty, gravel vocals, in my opinion is essential listening .
The real highlight here, for me anyway, is the one-two TKO of a pair of numbers near the close of things, “Gaia” and “Meghalaya“. The former opens with some melodic moments, then a barrage of noise music escalates and the riffs eventually detonate. Pay heed to the minimal expressions of soothing psychedelia that poke their way through here and there.
Latter track, the EP-ending “Meghalaya“, accelerates right off the line, driving to and fro with its massive, heaving axe. It then smashes into your ears before winding out and getting the grooves nailed down tightly underneath. By far, this is my favorite track, and it is one where the trio truly strut their respective stuff.
Dryad rock! Their “Rehearsal Tape” was issued very recently and to be honest, the title may be a bit misleading. It may seem to imply something that might have a sub-par aspect to it, be it the recording or what have you, or that it may be inferior or demo-quality, something. Thankfully, that is not even close as this is raw, yes, but that rawness only adds in bolstering the aggressive vibes here.
Discover Dryad for yourself today, via the “Rehearsal Tape” EP Bandcamp embed or go straight to the source yourself (here) where it is currently available as an NYP (Name Your Price) item… you will be glad you did!