Post-Punk, Old Wave
2011 Los Angeles saw the creation of a great musical endeavor. Deb Demure also sits pretty behind the drumkit of rock band Marriages, but the band has only released one studio album. Deb Demure’s musical project Drab Majesty, in the same amount of time, has spawned three reverberating studio albums. The most recent of which is Modern Mirror. Modern Mirror tinkers into the depths of nostalgia, reaching into the truths of Greek mythology while feeding into our own histories. The album is less creatively convex than the title suggests, as little else grounds Modern Mirror but the fleeting awareness of self.
The intro track “A Dialogue” skids in the face of reality. Minimalism flaunts itself with ambiguous lyrics in the four minute and 23 second song: “DON’T SAY YOU LOVE/ IF I DON’T SAY I LOVE WHO YOU ARE NOW WHO ARE YOU NOW?/ DON’T SAY YOU LOVE/ IF I DON’T SAY I LOVE WHO YOU ARE NOW YOU (I) SAID IT DIFFERENTLY/ (TAKE MY HEART, TAKE IT NOW).” The second track of Modern Mirror “The Other Side” spins with dark melodies like an 80s new wave. The following song “Ellipsis” oscillates with jittery guitar and a perky drum beat, spilling with a New Order vibe. Like an underground cover band, Drab Majesty plays into complex genre-making music but neglecting to add anything new. The last few verses of “Long Division” turn into bizarre lyrical metaphors “LONG DIVISION/ FALLING DOWN A DRAIN HOLE DOESN’T FEEL ALL THAT PAINFUL/ LONG DIVISION/ TURNED ME INTO SOMEONE THAT I HAD TO RUN FROM/ LONG DIVISION/ JUST NOW STARTED SEEMING DULL FIRST IT WAS SO MEANINGFUL.”
Coming in at seven minutes and 53 seconds, the short film length track writes itself a story. Named “Out of Sequence,” the track refrains from identifying itself in the face of ’80s irreplicable and chaotic perfection. With a hint of Echo & the Bunnymen in the blueprints, light synth rings like pop-punk depression. Drab Majesty does ’80s well – really well. But the band isn’t taking the risks necessary to elevate their sound. Modern Mirror is curated like an ethereal understanding of the societal bonds that regulate our lives. But the album speaks with sound, a nostalgic sound that might not fully grasp what fans were looking for in this third studio release by Drab Majesty.