Driftwood “December Last Call”

Independent, 2024

Bold and brash folk rock to post pandemic introspection from an engaging upper New York troupe

A band from upstate New York, Driftwood fly out of the traps with the title song of their latest album ‘December Last Call’.  It’s loud and brash, a rousing song which finds the band bouncing around a folky sound with a rock’n’roll drive, an amped-up version of The Mammals if you will.

Led by Joe Kollar and Dan Forsyth the band includes violinist Claire Byrne, bassist Joey Arcuri, and drummer Sam Fishman and they benefit from having a raft of songwriters on board (Kollar, Forsyth and Byrne) which allows a degree of variety on ‘December Last Call’. Aside from the opening song there are further highly charged numbers such as ‘Every Which Way But Loose’ and ‘Just A Kid’ which comes across as a more organic and earthy version of Fleetwood Mac in their LA pomp. There are rootsier moments. ‘Float Away’ chugs along in a fine backwoods country rock manner and ‘Up All Night Blues’, sung by Byrne, is a soulful, organ-driven number which compares late-night youthful carousing to up all-night parenthood. The most striking of these is Forsyth’s ‘Here At Last’, a sinewy folk blues which finds him fantasising about just being able to get out, hang out and play music as the pandemic raged around him.

The pandemic looms large on the album’s lengthy closing song, ‘Stardust’. While Forsyth doesn’t allude directly to the lockdown in the lyrics, he ponders on fate and reckons eventually that we are all but specks in a vast universe. At almost 12 minutes in length the song eventually allows the band to take over the vocals as an excellent violin solo weighs in before an ambient (and lengthy) slow ride to the end of the song. More of this and less of the frantic rocking would have slid the album up a few notches.

7/10
7/10

About Paul Kerr 438 Articles
Still searching for the Holy Grail, a 10/10 album, so keep sending them in.
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