Drought On Mars hail from Bridgnorth, Shropshire in the U.K. and is another excellent new band which I found on CDBaby.com. The key to this band is the melancholic, but beautiful vocals of Vicky Kempner, whose voice is mature beyond her age and the lyrics she delivers are full of emotion and power.
Although they play moody alternative rock, you can find some elements of prog in their arrangements and delivery of music. Autumn Leaves is the band’s debut album and a great forecast of things to come, as every song on this release is full of excellent musicianship and perfect vocal delivery. I will anticipate this band’s future releases and have added them to my watch list.
The title track, Autumn Leaves, is full of progy rhythms, sweeping acoustic guitar, and a beautiful orchestral supporting soundscape. Kempner’s voice is never softer, while at the same time delivering eloquent prose. It really is one of the most original and best songs I’ve heard this year and being a fan of autumn, it will remain a favorite for years to come.
False Prophecy kicks the album off with deep melancholic acoustic guitar and Kempner’s serious, yet soft voice. A great opener which welcomes you to the package about to be delivered. Anaesthetic opens with delicately plucked electric guitar, before Kempner’s vocals take over the soundscape, delivering harmonic vocal strength, which utterly controls the soundscape. The metal guitar and well-placed bass and drums make this another of the best songs on the album. On The Partisan, the band sheds all shades of prog, and comes at you like the metal band they probably would love to be on stage. Buckle your seat belts for this one, I bet this is fun to watch live.
Hearts of Snow is another excellent showcase for Kempner’s voice, especially as we listen to the lyric lines:
“Everyone has their reasons
Put yourself in their shoes
You can’t judge somebody before you know what they’ve been through
It’s all just imagination
We’re surrounded by discrimination
But some are called, because they have the heart
They have the heart of snow!”
Added to this the acoustic guitar blends so perfectly with the lead electric, as the keyboard orchestrations fill the backdrop of the soundscape. Continuing through the album, Inhale is another wonderful introspective journey of vocal power, lead electric guitar, deep bass, and powerful drums. Kempner’s “ooh’s” near the end are worth the price of admission alone.
Get this debut album and jump on the bandwagon early. I think this band will be around for a long while… especially if enough people hear Autumn Leaves. I am happy to give them any exposure I can through this review.
This band deserves to be heard!
01. False Prophecy (4:10)
02. Anaesthetic (2:56)
03. The Partisan (3:06)
04. Hearts of Snow (2:59)
05. Inhale (4:52)
06. Never Too Late (5:55)
07. Autumn Leaves (6:54)
Total Time – 30:52
Vicky Kempner – Vocals
Jai Breese – Rhythm Guitar
Oscar Lye – Lead Guitar
Hamish Brown – Bass
Ben Kempner – Drums
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 25th August 2017