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Dru Cutler - Hometown (2017)




Written by Scott Wigley, posted by blog admin

Dru Cutler brings an unique confluence of pop, rock, and a touch of daring to his songwriting and performances sure to attract the attention of many. It won’t be hollow plaudits they bring. Cutler’s stylistic blend means we’re hearing a writer and performer with the talent to let his Muse take him wherever and bear fruitful results. The latest offering from this gifted Tampa born musician, Hometown, doesn’t waste time. There are two songs in the collection and both offer vivid looks at the artistic dexterity Cutler brings to bear. He’s worked with some important music world figures in shaping these tracks and the high polish distinguishing both never obscures his songwriting and vocal merits. They are both given stellar studio treatment that helps Cutler fully realize the material and he moves through both tracks with unquestionable, reassuring confidence.

You’ll notice the piano in the title track. It does much of the song’s melodic heavy lifting, but Cutler seizes upon a memorable vocal melody nicely complementing its light touch. A steady acoustic guitar running through the mix nails down the song into a definite shape and the hard hitting drumming provides an additional exclamation point. Cutler is at the center of it all – he takes ample advantage of the excellent arrangement and performances to deliver a first class vocal with subtle phrasing refraining from any over-dramatization of the material. The lyrics provide all the drama any listener will need. It isn’t cataclysmic events or over the top in anyway – instead, Cutler shows a sure grasp of significant detail and ties up his reflections in a manner that brings us into the song’s world without ever seeming too constructed or arbitrary. The song has an ideal running time and eschews any big instrumental moment in favor of serving up an unified experience for Cutler’s potential audience.

“Infinite Moons” takes a completely different turn. Much like the opener, the track never runs on too long, but Cutler is clearly intent on offering listeners a very different listening experience than they enjoyed with the title song. The guitar is strong here, but it’s employed in a very different manner than the earlier song – Cutler concentrates much more on the six string giving the song telling moments of color and those shades shift as the song progresses and moves through its handful of different sections. Harmony vocals, likewise, play a more important role here than on the first song and help sweeten what might otherwise be a little more inaccessible of a song structure. The texture remains rather smooth, despite the differences, and Cutler shows the same confidence here that helped set the first song apart. Despite its short length, Dru Cutler makes a big impact with this duo of songs and, taken as a hint to the quality of future work, clearly shows a recording artist who hasn’t yet reached his peak.

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Swirl’s recent video for their single “Rise Up” highlights all of the qualities that brought the band to the attention of Ditch Day’s producers. The popular movie highlights three songs from the Southern California four piece and represents some of their biggest exposure yet. It follows on the heels of their self-titled release and the songs selected for inclusion on the film soundtrack represent the quality of that release quite well. The band consists of lead singer Alfred Ramirez, guitarist Duane “DT” Jones”, bassist Shane Carlson, and drummer Brian “Bam Bam” Jones. Their vivid and muscular hard rock veers into outright metal at certain points, but Swirl never goes in for the mindless bash and thud sound so common to lesser bands in this genre. Th…