By: Anne Carlini
For those not in the know, Drayter - Liv Miner and Cole Schwartz - are a high-energy pop/rock duo from Dallas, who have just released their debut studio album NINE this past December 18th, 2015 via Platinum Jack Entertainment. Recorded in Los Angeles, California and Mandeville, Louisiana, the album was produced by heavyweight producers Matt Squire (One Direction, Ariana Grande, Good Charlotte, Selena Gomez, Panic! At The Disco) and Dave Fortman (Evanescence, Godsmack, Slipknot).
The one thing I like about new bands is that theyknow they have to stand out in a crowd. So it's what they do to encompass that into their release that defines them. One and all. Here on Nine, Drayter bring us an album that consists of, wait for it, eight (8) brand new studio tracks - and yet they named their album, yep, Nine! I love that, and yes, it had me hooked immediately, as now I wanted to know the meaning behind it.
For the record, no pun intended, the album’s title Nine is actually based around a topographical puzzle, whereby the puzzle is an intellectual challenge to connect dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines that pass through each of the nine dots, and never lifting the pencil from the paper. The puzzle is easily resolved, but only by drawing the lines outside the confines of the square area defined by the nine dots themselves. The phrase “thinking outside the box” is a restatement of the solution strategy. [See, you wouldn't have got anywhere close to that album title reasoning, now would ya?!]
The album kicks off with the rampant fun pop bounce of 'Run,' and backs that up with both the emotionally charged anthem 'Criminal' and the hard edged power rock of 'Not Alone.' A song bringing forth the real life topic of bullying and acceptance therein, 'So What' is next and is followed in turn by the powerhaus 'Best I Had.' Containing a soundscape of topics ranging from songs about perseverance and overcoming personal tragedy, such as the (at first) mellow guitar play of 'Mother Says,' the album closes out with the acoustic guitar work (at first) of 'Unchained Love' and then, finally, the very old school No Doubtesque 'Still Here.'
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