You don’t need to know what’s going on in Bradford, England, home to alt-rock band Drella, to feel the frustration. Consisting of lifelong friends Jonny, Toby, and Alfie, all of whom hail from Bradford, they’ve only begun releasing music just a little over a year ago. But in a short period, they’ve made a name for themselves across England through rapturous live shows and BBC spotlights. And traction has only grown since their January EP Silence. Their recent single, “Divide,” continues that trend and excels in the standard they’ve placed for themselves, being loud enough for the rioters and sharp enough for the deep thinkers.
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Sonically, the track hits every mark of a great punk cut, leaving no bystanders behind in the carnage Drella causes. Slowly creeping in at the start, the bass prepares for takeoff, or at least attempts to prepare, before the drums move at breakneck speed and make room for the lead singer’s hellraiser attitude. But he’s not leading a revolution, as his deep, gravelly voice sounds, understandably, tired of anyone and everyone. In contrast, the guitarist plays like a killer wielding a chainsaw in a horror movie, tearing everything apart in his path.
The main draw of “Divide” is the lyrics that read like a manifesto, screaming at the face of authority and delivering the cold truth. The singer lists all the blights of living in today’s age, fully embodying that aggressive anarchist spirit so prescient in punk music. It’s justified aggression, aggravated by the bullshit that continues happening locally while speaking to issues occurring overseas.
And above all else, it’s uncompromising in calling out what the band deems unfair, not flinching for a moment without giving the impression of a trio still trying to find their sound. The sound is there, showing no signs of ringing untrue to the modern day. At the same time, the sound is familiar and may bring other similar groups, past and present, to mind. That’s not a bad thing. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they are revolting in a way that reveals the ongoings too often written off in the day-to-day shuffle.
Words: David Sosa