The Unravelling – “Master Drone” – Single Review
If you read into the backstory on lead-singer for The Unravelling – Steve Moore…it’s pretty inspiring stuff. Next-door neighbours to our province in B.C. – in Calgary, Alberta Steve had been battling cancer diagnosed officially in 2011 up until recently kicking its ass into remission and eventual recovery. And now he’s back to grip the microphone once again with confidence and authority at full strength on the latest single and powerful second-release from The Unravelling, “Master Drone.”
And they are hitting it hard…both through the music and through the press & photo-shoots; The Unravelling are supporting the new single in every way possible. At over five-minutes-thirty seconds there’s a lot going on; timing changes, significantly defined parts of pure-rock awesomeness and a real progressive attitude running under the hooks that show the hard-work has been put into the writing. “Master Drone” is a massive undertaking…the combined talents of Gus De Beauville and Steve Moore pull off this achievement with concentrated, intense focus and punishing, huge sounds.
The elements of bands like Nine Inch Nails and Tool are stamped throughout this single in very smart ways that borrow from the influence but allows them to explore their own unique territory. Everyone wants to be Maynard James Keenan…hell – he fuckin KNOWS that for the fact it truly is and wrote a song about it…”Maynard’s Dick” at the end of the Salival album…check that out if you haven’t somehow already. Anyhow…I don’t get the feeling that Moore is trying to be anything like a copy of Keenan at all; while there are trace-elements that can be found, particularly towards the end of the song…he’ll hate me for saying this most likely…but from the opening, he sounds much more like what I’d imagine Michael Stipe from R.E.M. sounding like had he gone the metal-rock route.
DON’T pull the trigger just yet Steve! Know that…for me personally, Stipe is my favourite singer of all time…so I’m not trying to lay down any kind of significant burn…just an honest comparison that occasionally drifts into the mic. As the song shifts around, the Stipe-sounds gain a harder edge to Moore’s style, but he also knows when to pull back to let the music do what it’s doing…which is pretty much kicking all the ass, all the way through, all the time all day. Well placed drum-beats outline the tapestry for the guitars to really work some incredible magic…great chops here and some extremely hefty parts pulled off with a very authentic feel.
Lyrically the song goes for the throat of the living-dead…aka, the “Master Drone.” I’m not talking about anything George Romero here…I mean the drones we walk past each and every day. Even I was convinced of the Matrix being a real thing after seeing it come to life onscreen – up until then, I suspected but didn’t know how to put it into words. But if there’s not another four or fifty of me walking around in places I can’t see or go to…I’d be more shocked than not…
Anyhow…I digress…it’s more to do with the fabrication of our similarities and interests and the sheep mentality of the planet’s occupants…or at least that’s what I’m getting out of it. The “Master Drone” himself…or itself…might not be any better off than any of the rest of us – in fact it might be a worse scenario…at least most of us drones realize we’re drones right? Well…some of us do…sigh…
Overall, The Unravelling have woven together one massive rock-song here with grit, razor-sharp teeth and a professional’s approach to laying this one out from start to finish. While the resulting contrast between the vocals and music may/may not work for all of you out there, it grew on me quickly the more I listened to the music and the way that Moore attacks the microphone. It might have a contrasting tone prevalent in some of his choices and parts, yes – but he hit his words with real punch, confidence, and noticeable emotion that matches the moody atmosphere of the lyrics & music.
And so it would appear our neighbours in Calgary, Alberta are brewing up some monster sounds on “Master Drone…” Alright! Count me in…I’d definitely check out more from The Unravelling.
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