30 Seconds to Mars
Tracklist1. Cardinal Sun
3. Forgotten Room
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For years now, there have been a slew of Australian bands making waves over here in the U.S., most of which have been in the hardcore or metalcore genre. While indeed an Australian band, Drawing North shows us that the country has more to offer the globe than just heavy music. The quintet plays a brand of modern rock that combines the musicianship of Saosin with the urgency and mature tone of Anberlin, but while technically executed well, Of Sand and Stone feels like it’s missing something.
Each song is competently written on this EP, and Drawing North isn’t doing anything overtly wrong, but the overall gripe that can be applied to all of the songs is that they’re just not memorable. Every track is enjoyable in the moment, but nothing grabs you and makes you want to return for repeated listens. There are some musically interesting parts here and there and the vocals are actually quite good, but those two pieces never come together to create anything that will stick with the listener. That’s not to say every song needs to have these catchy and epic choruses, but when none of them do, it creates a rather bland listening experience.
Of Sand and Stone isn’t a bad EP by any means, though, and fans of the genre should check it out if for no other reason than to keep the band on their radar. There are glimpses of greatness here, like the crescendo at the end of “Harbour,” the upbeat and fun intro on “Cardinal Sin,” and beautifully layered verses of “Kites.” Drawing North is still young and they have all the right pieces in place, but they just need to learn how to work all of them together in order to reach the next level in their career.