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Graham O’Brien- Live Drums

28 Nov

It is always great to see a local favorite get some international recognition, and that’s just what has happened with Graham O’Brien and his solo debut Live Drums. You know Graham from his drumming with No Bird Sing and Abzorbr, and now Live Drums has been picked up for release by London-based experimental imprint NOECHO Records and is now available digitally for free or you can purchase a CD here. Do it either way to support local music’s wider exposure.

I’ve got a soft spot for drums and drummers, and over here on my laptop, Live Drums has been on a fairly constant rotation for the past few months. It lives up to it’s title- obviously as it’s basis is O’Brien’s drumming, but also because the drums, samples and vocal performances are infused with a crackling electricity, it’s a live wire of a record. Many of O’Brien’s collaborators make appearances, Alicia Wiley and Eric Blair (of No Bird Sing) on the out-of-breath jam “CFCs”, Kristoff Krane for the eerie and pounding “Recyclemaker”, as well as tracking from DVS and Adam Svec. The vocal tracks are strung together by the instrumental tracks that make up the uneasy, driven texture of Live Drums; with toms bending like bass chords, cymbal crashes tuning into a digital wash and an exploratory feel that seems to be pushing how far these percussive melodies can go, Live Drums is late-night freeway music that gets stuck in your head. It’s worth whatever you can throw O’Brien’s way and bodes well for both his band projects and his future solo work.

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