Nutshell Album Review: DRGN KING – Paragraph Nights
A funny thing happens that if we don’t post something for over a week, the site blows up with emails and comments. That makes us happy, so KEEP DOING THAT. But never fear! We are back, and this is a record that you should be excited for because it is something special.
DRGN KING (pronounced “Dragon King”, which apparently has to be specified according to certain radio DJs) hails from Philadelphia, and they specialize in pumping out powerful and just generally awesome songs. On debut LP Paragraph Nights, the band jams out, gets you moving and singing, and just tears apart your brain because you wish you could write music like this. This group comes out with a genre similar to that of a mega-indie/electronic Dr. Dog; one that it pains me to say is not nearly as popular as it should be. But who knows, with an album like this nay-sayers may be eating their words in a month’s time to make way for a new generation of kick-ass bands who do just that: kick ass.
Paragraph Nights opens up with the title track, a piano and synthy sound collage with beautiful vocals and a relaxing vibe. “Wild Night” is what gets the contagious movement started, with a catchy rhythm and an overpowering beat. The synth and saw basses take over half way through and give this song an upbeat AWOLNATION feel. The best part? The song is all about just going out and having a blast. Isn’t that something? Up next is “Holy Ghost”, which is a song that you should not be surprised if it just blows you away. This track has festival jam band written all over it, and it has group vocals and an irreplaceable beat that are impossible to not dance along with. It’s no surprise why this is one of the album’s singles. “Menswear” has a bigger rock influence, and goes back and forth between quiet with slightly distorted vocals and loud, noisy, powerful rock n’ roll. “The Cardy Boys” then takes it down a notch, going to a beautiful, Oasis-style acoustic track. It features a solo on an instrument I embarrassingly can’t identify, but it puts a very solid interlude in the center of the song that adds to it immensely.
“Barbarians” features claps and a huge emphasis on the bass line. This song is more experimental than the others on the album, and features a lot of sound effects and whispered vocals. “Warriors” has a more electronic feel, with synth loops and a very melodic chorus. The vocals at points come out more as a rap, and it’s done very impressively. This song tones down the energy and speed, but it is still a strong track and it is definitely one to check out. After that is “Altamont Sunrise”, which opens up with a groovy guitar and bass riff and dreamy vocals. This is another one that is sure to be a live-hit, with a great beat to bop to and catchy vocal melodies. “Black Gold” is an instrumental, trancey song that uses a lot of dream-like instruments and unique percussion. This one comes out sounding somewhat like Explosions in the Sky, except it doesn’t exceed 3 minutes. The album gets closed out with “Caught Down”, which has a jammy sound crossed with Arcade Fire-style dynamic changes and Noel Gallagher-like vocals, and “Looking At You”, an upbeat and indie-poppy song that is an energetic and quick way to bring the record to an end.
DRGN KING is one of those duos that has it working for them musically. Paragraph Nights does not stay within the constraints of one specific genre, nor should it. With the help of various collaborators, the two members of this Philadelphia group hit a wide range of indie rock sub genres and put it all together into a sort of hipster kid free-for-all. No musical genre was left unscathed by this album and believe me, you’ll be hearing about it from websites not unlike this one in the months to come. Paragraph Nights takes over a 93/100 and you can grab it now. So do that.
Paragraph Nights Tracklisting:
- Paragraph Nights
- Wild Night
- Holy Ghost
- The Cardy Boys
- Altamont Sunrise
- Black Gold
- Caught Down
- Looking At You