Drunksouls - Just Before Chaos (Cover Artwork)


Just Before Chaos (2014)

Self Released

Invoking the spirit of many genres, ranging from ska to soft jazz to progressive metal, French seven piece Drunksouls show no limits to their creativity. With the release of their compilation album Just Before Chaos, a collection of old and new tracks, this is clearly shown. However, this is an album not meant for those looking for the next Fuel for the Hate Game or the latest B9 release but for those who wish to peek outside of the box. With that being said it is chock full of surprises, musical ingenuity and the capacity to move you.

Opening with their latest release, "Chaos," the group wastes no time showcasing what makes them great. A jazz fusion section led by the bass, perfectly fat and round on all sides, introduces the song. Soon the band breaks away into a slowed down left over first wave ska riff, with the guitars slightly touching and intertwining between the ends of all areas. At this point you may be wondering how this is at all similar to progressive metal? Well the answer my friends is the highlight of the song, an operatic, rising motion led by vocalist DjaM, not to be confused with DJ AM. Bringing to mind the likes of Protest The Hero within his melody and vocal range. A fuzzed-out guitar ties the ends of the song together with a Sublime-esque solo. Repeat till end of song.

Another highlight is the ska-heavy "Human Race." An upbeat, upstroke, reggae scratching type of song. Trumpets dance in and out as the vocals momentarily stop, and keyboards swirl and twirl behind them. One guitar keeps the beat steady with the bass while the other clearly chimes through, eerily setting the mood of the song. The combination of these elements highlights the bands strong sense of dynamics. DjaM brings to mind the vocal styles of Michael Jackson in this tune or the ever more relevant Patrick Stump. "Dear Lady" cools down the record a bit, an acoustic jam reminiscent to the more tender sounds of Red Hot Chill Peppers or the more mythical moments of Led Zeppelin.

The Michael Jackson/Patrick Stump reference once again becomes painfully relevant, as does the RHCP worship this band seems to hold on too, in the song "Pain of Life." The light jazz flute backing the funky bass lines and clean swimming guitars is a nice a touch however. The closest Drunksouls come to being punk is during the fist pounder "Revolution." Blood Sugar Sex Magik comes to mind during this song as a heavier side of the band is showcased. A downbeat pounding drum line is backed by metallic guitars and rapped vocals propelled by shouts of protest. Keyboards begin and end the song with an alien-like melody, almost as if Lil' Wayne himself wrote it.

Progressive pop-rock ska would be the best description for this group from Marseilles, France. If you are looking for something new, creative and indifferent to punk rock wrapped up in pop, I would recommended giving them a listen.