MP3 Dramady - Better Forever
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ROCK: Experimental Rock, POP: Noise Pop
Dramady is a two piece rock band from Portland, OR. The band consists of Amanda Mason Wiles (Rollerball, Six Foot Sloth) on bass, vocals, clarinet, and saxophone, and Zac Stanley (Narwhal vs. Narwhal) on drums, vocals, and keyboards. The music is highly rhythmic danceable pop with groove laden dub bass and melodic horns. Zac is pretty amazing to watch live as he plays drums, keyboard, and sings all at once while the crowds they play for on their two US Tours and many Portland gigs dance the night away (They shine at house parties). Dramady sound in love (which they are) and the cuteness shines through on these 10 tracks.
North Pole Records is proud to release this stoned out dance party on compact disc. Dramady joins the amazing roster that we are assembling over at NPR with Miss Massive Snowflake, Bill Horist, and Remora. Thanks for reading, now go and listen to the debut cd by Dramady âBetter Foreverâ.
This is the album that would have been spawned had John Lydon and Perry Farrell formed a spiritual bond amid a hallucinatory fug whilst listening to !!!, then gone straight out & rounded up the remaining members of Can and the Velvets to form a revolutionary band of visionary groovers. Yet Dramady number just two; Zacery Stanley and Amanda Mason Wiles coming at you from the musical hotbed of Portland, Oregon via the spiritual homes of New York and Berlin.
Dramadys music is billed as 'danceable pop' but that description does the band a disservice. This album is certainly danceable, if in a trance-like state, and it is pop in the same way the first couple of PIL LP's may have been labelled so, i.e. not very. However, the appeal is great, as is the music, but it's music for Heads far more than for indie disco kids. A template based upon cutting a groove sees tight, trip-funk bass lines and solid rhythms looped to form a canvas of repetition over which melodic horns, electronic drones and euphoric vocal mantras can be spun. The combined effect of Wiles and Stanley's vocal harmonies is paramount, blessing a formidable track such as 'Train' with a psychedelic lushness that transcends its earthy rhythmic grind. The lyrics can be both mystical and mystifying too, the Arabian dub of 'All animals on bed' being a prime example, but then the lyrical content isn't necessarily the point, the hypnotic effect being far more integral to the overall sound.
A freeform spirit and a sort of calculated looseness further enhance the music, resulting in wave after wave of blissful art funk that snakes its way through the mind but with a rawness that never allows you to fall off the edge completely. It's the sound of krautfunk played from a minaret, and it's a joy to behold.
The Portland Sentinel
It's hard to figure exactly what this fuzziness is. Is it the warm distortion over the album's varied instrumentation, featuring punchy drums knit to bass lines like a sweater? Or the band's constant reminders to whoever's listening that they're in love?
The new album, a valentine just in time for Christmas called "Better Forever," is from the duo of Amanda Mason Wiles and Zac Stanley known as Dramady. The album features 10 tracks of heartwarming experimental, lo-fi but high quality, dance-punk tunes sure to knock the bottom out of the seasonal suicide rate.
Of the 11-plus instruments listed in the inside cover (all played by Stanley and Wiles) there is not a single six-string guitar. There is an almost electronica sound to the album, much of this due to the vocals which sound processed but gorgeous. The pair's voices are active, weaving through each other throughout much of the album. Their voices are not bad, but not amazing either â just well-played, handled with care. It's the layering and harmonizing of voices on the album that make it sound full.
Some of Stanley and Wiles' sound can be traced to '70s synthographers The Silver Apples, by way of contemporary drone/dance/rock band Liars. Dramady, however, takes the drone from these bands and the Velvet Underground and propels it, as evidenced on the opening track, "RAH," which features horn, synthesizer and vocals all harmonizing together.
Zach and Amanda
How they manage to pull off their remarkably full sound live may not be the right question. They largely stick to bass and drums, with Wiles occasionally looping a bass part to bring in the horn section. It isn't necessarily as tight, but watching band members stick to the two-player format that created the album illustrates Dramady's sincerity. This sincerity is apparent in groove, lyrics, and presentation.
All the elements that have come together on "Better Forever," from the packaging to song titles like "Are You Comfortable," and the band's hyper-romantic harmonizing all lead one to think of the album as a love letter that Wiles and Stanley are singing to one another. On "Nice Hair," Stanley sings: "You're so important/ and you're pretty/ come closer to me/ you could be a kitty or bunny next week." But even the lyrics are second to the musicality of how Dramady utilizes their voices, adding their own layer of warmth.
On the verses of the fourth track, "Simple Pleasures," Dramady takes an inventory, "... kindness to strangers, kitty cats â¦ puffy coats, telephone calls, faded flip-flops," meeting the bridge lyrics, simply, "so much more," which feels like an intimate list of someone's favorite things, pulled from their journal.
Listening to the album, all too common and obvious images of candy canes and sweet things came to mind, but at the same time, there's something wholesome that encourages the use of another metaphor. Amanda recently became co-owner of Cherry Sprout Market, what was formerly known as North Portland's Big Apple Produce. This band is sweet, but it won't rot your teeth.
Boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife duo groups are all the rage these days. It's as if Mates of State (a less campy, modern equivalent of Captain & Tennille) transmitted some cryptic lyrical message to all the world's couples, letting them know it was OK to make both love and music. That message eventually trickled down to Portland groups like Viva Voce, Tu Fawning and Dramady.
Live, lovebirds Zacery Stanley (Narwhal vs. Narwhal) and Amanda Mason Wiles (Rollerball) play what sounds like relatively straightforward dance-pop. It's in the studio where Dramady gets into the sandboxâone that's more akin to the Clash's Sandinista! than anything in the Mates' discographyâby splitting duties on a basement full of instruments and pedals.
Dramady's Better Forever opens with a variation on Jim Carrey's "most annoying sound in the world" (from Dumb and Dumber): a looped vocal tone that sounds kind of like a violin tuning up an orchestra. At first, "RAH" seems like a frustratingly bad call for an opening trackâuntil the haunted house bassline, Star Wars Cantina Band horn section and playful distorted vocals chime in and obscure the original loop with dub-influenced dance chaos, that is.
"RAH" is only one of a handful of tunes on Dramady's debut full-length that infuse jazz structures into the band's pop hooks. Dramady introduces a melodic idea or funky beat, then tricks it out with Space Age studio theatrics and wandering brass. On "Hollow," that formula manifests itself as a psych-pop twist on the chanted majesty of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." And on "Nice Hair," it channels the goofy funk of the Breeders' "Last Splash."
Of all the shapes Dramady's music takes, boring ain't one of them. Better Forever is a continually exciting and adventurous album, its lyrical playfulness ("Why can't we be more playful?" is among the group's battle cries) diving just deep enough into serious musicianship to keep listeners ass-shaking and chin-scratching in equal measure. Like Mates of State, Dramady's Stanley (who mans the skins live) and Mason Wiles (keys, guitars, etc.) let inside jokes flirt with romantic sentiment and free associationâthe result is music that's revolutionary for its own internal aesthetic. Simply put, Dramady makes beautiful music together.(Casey Jarman)
The Broken Face
Dramady is a new duo from the fertile musical lands of Portland, OR consisting of Amanda Mason Wiles (Rollerball, Six Foot Sloth) and Zac Stanley (Narwhal vs. Narwhal, Miss Massive Snowflake). Given the involved this is surprisingly melodic, structured and not the least rhythmic pop rooted as much in the folk tradition as in outsider rock. The concept of combining accessible pop with hypnotic beats and well-placed bits of experimental arrangements is the link that binds this multi-faceted disc together. Dramady is capable of dressing up their groovy melodies in mind-massaging strangeness and whimsical unpredictability that is both consistent and quite convincing.
The Devil has the best Tuna
Dramady is a two piece indie rock band from Portland, Oregon formed by Amanda Mason Wiles (Rollerball , Six Foot Sloth) on bass, vocals, clarinet and saxophone, and Zac Stanley (Narwhal vs Narwhal) on drums, vocals and keyboards. The duo create unique funked up, highly grooved, blissed out rhythmical slacker rock which is so difficult to categorise that I'm not going to even try. This is the type of music that would have John Peel on the phone begging for a session. It's music that is comfortable in it's own skin, different without being self consciously different, post modern without being pretentious, experimental yet somehow oddly familiar. The best music is both challenging and accessible and Dramady's new album 'Better Forever' somehow manages to pull off this trick with aplomb. To paraphrase Alfred Hitchcock Dramady are music with the dull bits cut out.
Congratulations go out to the talent-heavy duo of Amanda Mason Wiles (of Rollerball and Six Foot Sloth fame) and Zac Stanley (of Narwhal vs. Narwhal) who make up Dramady. The duo just released Better Forever, a well-balanced presentation of hook-heavyâyet still challengingâpop music. While pretty much every band (post-'90s) sounds like the Pixies, Dramady literally sounds like Black Francis & Co. Not a bad thing at all, as their inventive lyrics and unique instrumental structure tip their hat to their influences, yet are always individual enough so as to not confuse them with, say, Seattle's Pixies tribute act, No. 13 Baby. EAC
From Portland, Oregon comes Dramady. Zacary Quintin Stanley and Amanda Mason Wiles make "cute, inspired psychedelic music specifically created for our buddies". Dramatic and engaging, this music is sort of like listening to an intimate confession from a friend; heated and emotional and vulnerable all at once. Recorded over the course of a year at Arbor Lodge Studios in Portland, their new CD, "Better Forever" is out now on North Pole Records. This is some of the coolest indie space rock we've heard in awhile.
Whilst I really like the opening track on 'Better Forever' the latest album from Dramady, I can't help noticing that amongst the synths, trumpets and excellent melodies, the bass line is a deadringer for the bass line on 'Billy the Monster' (the Deviants). This is probably coincidence however as I imagine the band are too young to have ever heard the song, and there is much else to attract the attention as the album progresses. Take for instance, the quirky charms and weird lyrics of 'Simple Pleasures' or even the wistfulness of the delightful 'Train', both good reasons to hear this album. With a definite pop bent, the duo of Zacery Stanley, and Amanda Mason Wiles, make full use of their talents on a variety of instruments including Clarinet, Trumpet, Sax, and no Guitar which gives the album an unusual focus, good stuff indeed.
People who are interested in Quasi The Breeders The Clash should consider this download.
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