Drought: Untapped

Phew! What a scorcher.

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Texas four-piece Drought formed in 2001 but it’s taken up ’til now for them to record and release their debut album. Was it worth the wait? Like a crusty gullet greeting its first ice-cold lager of the day – you betcha.

After a cursory listen you might be tempted dismiss this lot as Nickelback or Shinedown clones. But closer inspection reveals a serious, sonorous depth to Drought’s music, along with a lush undercurrent reminiscent of classic Pearl Jam.

Like many bands from the Lone Star state, their material also has an arcane quality that makes them much more than just another bunch of slick, semi-obnoxious US radio rockers. Blessed with a massive sound courtesy of producer Todd Taz Anthony, tracks such as Pick And Pen, Look At Me and, especially, Born Of Stone are brooding, simmering tours-de-force.

These are neatly balanced against lighter, more commercial offerings including Highway 16, Because and Wish You Everything. One Night Stand, meanwhile, is properly sleazy, as evinced by the lyrics: ‘Who got you on your knees? Who got you begging baby please?’

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.