This new 15 track album by Dan Drohan unwieldy entitled – You’re a Crusher / drocan! fizzes with a huge dayglo sheen of superb polished hyper pop vignettes. Collecting together a few separate projects, there is no blanket treatment on display or the same set up simply reconfigured into variation. Each second, of its 39 minute lifespan, is an invitation to roll around in Drohan’s multi-layered studio and brain. And it’s light years from his work with the wonderfully dreamy rock of his band Olden Yolk.
You’re a Crusher / drocan! doesn’t rest anywhere for long, the bleary-eyed looping of the opener Leave it Loading quickly twists into a stunningly squidgy groove. Pictured chews up a block of audio for its full 90 seconds before We Like To See (EARTH) thrashes in with maniacal beats and warping vocal smudges.
It’s clear as the album reveals its topography, that Drohan sees the world primarily via his drums and this immediately creates a thumping rhythmic orgy speckled with wild production flashes. SQUINT delights in yet more messy layers crashing into each other over a tugged at drum loop. Pretty Sure EARTH spins around a sun dappled funk line slowly sinking into stuttering sludge.
As the second half of the album surges forward, a mangled version of The Beach Boys get beamed through a lump of crystal as You’re a Crusher, Strength, The Garden and Toyko all zone in on a newly introduced vocal element. This harmonised voice dropping in like a loose ball-bearing ping ponging around wildly agitated textures.
KENO is a brief jazzy interlude before the woozy eastern pirouettes spin through Passwords. Through the Night feels like a fairly standard song-form pulled and stretched in all the wrong directions like the whole thing is made of elastic. The close 105 throws all manner of odd clipped fragments around another buried song relic.
Whilst the album somehow peaks with the first track, it trails off into something that slowly reveals more and subtly excavated oddness. Perhaps in part, Drohan’s unique constructions grow out of his varied and powerful drum technique. In other hands, the song might have been pulled further forward but here, loads sit in a hugely animated sonic mid-ground, always anchored to thick rhythms.
Whatever You’re a Crusher / drocan! actually sets out to do, it ultimately pans out like a hugely entertaining messy snake through hundreds of hairpin bends and handbrake turns into one huge single track that feels like three or four bands playing side by side whilst someone fades randomly between them. As messy and unfocussed as that may all sound, it’s fantastic.
Whatever You’re a Crusher / drocan! is out this Friday – get it here