Sunday, 22nd July 2018. 2:54:32am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Drop the Fear- Listen


Artist: Drop the Fear
CD Title: listen
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 1/25/04

It can be argued that innovative new music in this day and age simply boils down to a new combination of old sounds and elements. Listen, the debut EP from former mp3.com shoegazer favorites Drop the Fear, certainly does little to dispel that argument. Both innovative and interesting, Drop the Fear's debut sounds almost like the end product of taking a dozen carefully selected CDs from the shoegazer, alternative rock, and electronica/industrial/trip hop genres, putting them into a blender, and hitting puree. You'll find melodic content and vocal intonations reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins alongside Curve-esque alt rock elements and thumping electronic beats and moody sonic swirls that bring to mind artists like Tricky and Massive Attack. There's even an underlying minimalism to some tracks that made me think of bands like Ivoux.

While it's difficult to speak about Drop the Fear without drawing comparisons to their obvious influences, the band's intriguing sonic hybrid combined with strong songwriting and production definitely make their debut a worthwhile listen (no pun intended). To be followed this summer by a full-length DVD album, listen is a collection of 4 songs that clocks in at exactly 19 minutes. Kicking things off on a high note with the upbeat "edge of the universe", a song that attempts to answer the musical question "What would Curve sound like with Elizabeth Fraser on vocals?" the EP then descends into darker territory. "Long way from home", probably the least noteworthy song on the disc, is a dirge of plodding electronic drums and moody swirling atmospheres. The third track, "as lonely as they come" more effectively plays on the moodiness of the previous track with swells of emotional intensity and stronger melodic content for what is, perhaps, the disc's most powerful offering. The EP ends on a brighter note with the more upbeat "when memory fails", a beautiful paring of bright Cocteau Twins inspired melodies and vocals with analog synthesizer sounds.

While it is, perhaps, tough to judge a band based on a 4 song EP, I can say with some certainty that Drop the Fear is bound to make a pretty big impression on the underground shoegazer scene if their full-length is as well-written and produced as this small appetizer. Shoegazer and urban trip hop fans should definitely check out the band's carefully concocted and highly successful sonic formula on listen, an EP that dares to make old new again.


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