Drew Danburry: The First Pillar
For an EP with just five songs, The First Pillar by Drew Danburry covers a lot of emotion. Plus the word count in the titles alone would convince you that this album is much longer than it is. Though each song has a different sound and feel, there are unifying emotions through the record (in case you don’t catch it, the last track lets you know with the line “If you stack up all these words they stack up nicely into one big theme, and that would be, there’s no worse death than when hope is extinct.” This is the tenth release for Danburry, a Utah-based musician/barber. That’s right, he owns a barbershop in Provo, Utah, and no longer tours.
The first track, “Preparing for Alaska, Chiasmus or John Steinbeck,” is peppy and sounds like it could be a much older folk song. “Jennifer Connelly, or Fools Mock but They Shall Mourn” goes into more modern folk-rock territory with strummed guitars, quick drums, and lyrics about a failing relationship. Toward the end, the song breaks into a cacophony. “Nobody Listens to Turtle,” the title likely a nod to the surfer movie North Shore, has a surfer-ish sound thanks to long guitar notes and far-off sounding drums. To fit in with the theme of the record, it has a dehumanizing theme including a line that says “don’t you rob me of my humanity.” The last song, a reprise of the first, sounds exactly like the original but has completely different lyrics. These just sum up the album instead of telling a story like in the opening song.
The most hopeless (by that, I mean it’s an excellent song that conveys hopelessness and anger) song on the album is also the one with the most ridiculously long title. In my notes I said that I would refused to type the title out, but here it is in all of its glory: “Jerry Spinelli and Patricia Polacco or Every moment of every day we are faced with the decision as to whether we will continue doing what we are doing or chose a different way to do things. This, essentially, means that it is also our fault when…” I still haven’t figured out why that title was necessary. The inclusion of the names of two children’s authors may suggest that he is not living up to expectations from childhood. There’s a lot of anger and pain communicated by strained vocals and lyrics that suggest disdain for society and the way we treat each other.
All in all, this is a brief, beautiful album. Though I would have preferred shorter song titles (I haven’t seen titles this long since I bought a Brand New album,) the songs are great. Best of all, Danburry is offering it up for free. You have no excuse not to check this album out.
MP3: Drew Danburry “Jerry Spinelli and Patricia Polacco or Every moment of every day we are faced with the decision as to whether we will continue doing what we are doing or chose a different way to do things. This, essentially, means that it is also our fault when…”