Band: Downriver Dead Men Go

CD Title: Tides

Website: www.downriver.nl    

Label: Freia Music (2016)

Rating: Satisfying 3/5


Netherlands based quintet Downriver Dead Men Go has been labeled a Postrock band and while Iím not a fan of the descriptive I can see why the term has been applied in this instance. Itís been applied because no other musical label seems to fit. So let me try to give you an idea what these guys sound like. First you should know the origins of this recording go back to 2014 and the release I have is actually a reissue, the band having sold out their original self-released edition. What originally started as a side-project a few years back has certainly captured the ears of a lot of fans. Musically Downriver Dead Men Go is a low-fi musical experience. Predominantly, soft, slow and ambient in nature this is music that can best be described as melancholy and haunting. Complex in its own way, with layer upon layer of sounds, this is music that on the surface seems to be going nowhere Ė until it does. Itís also music that grows on you, slowly enveloping you like being mysteriously surrounded by a warm cocoon. The eight compositions tend to be linked together creating almost one long fifty-one minute piece of music that ebbs and flows gaining dramatic intensity, bursting into huge swells of music, only to recoil and settle back into a soft carpet of ambient sound waves. Unlike typical ďambientĒ styled music the music on Tides is full of changes in arrangements and dynamics giving the music many layers of appreciation. There are hints of Pink Floyd and Roxy Music sprinkled throughout and yet the music on Tides is refreshingly original. I guess the other thing that should be mentioned is that while the band excels at creating aural moods and atmospheres they are all used to serve the melody, and while these may not be tunes to whistle along to, it wonít be long before you find yourself humming a line or a riff wondering, where did that came from. Well-crafted and pleasingly performed, the music of Downriver Dead Men Go has a lot to recommend to fans of Progressive Rock music. I urge you to check them out.