Those familiar with Trevor McNevan are also familiar with his
versatility as he is not only the frontman for one of the best rock
groups in Christian music (Thousand Foot Krutch) but also the founder
of the popular punk act, FM Static. However another Thousand Foot
Krutch band member is flexing his own creative muscles: bassist Joel
Bruyere. The music sounds and melodies roped together in this side
project are simply titled The Drawing Room. And it's probable that
The Drawing room will remain a side project considering the lack of
unity as an album, the appearance of smoothless tune changes, and
The album takes on an organic sound rather than an electronic one, as
Joel Bruyere drives the pop rock tunes with an acoustic guitar.
However, Bruyere does a splendid job keeping the opening track, "Keys
(The Liaison)," fresh with it its up-tempo alternative rock and its
ear-catching bridge. The natural rock sound of the disc is inviting,
but there are times when the appearance of an electric guitar would
have been welcomed. "Peddle" especially would have benefited from some
heavy riffs, which would have made its rock chorus epic. The guitar
driven "Trip" features fun hooks to go along with the innovative
upbeat pop music, but the diverse twists on "The Garden Of Even"
hover between genius and incoherent. The upbeat tunes are balanced
by more melancholy songs led by the brilliant, gloomy alterative track
"Windsor For The Winter."
One major drawback is with all the creativity offered by The Drawing
Room, Bruyere's experiments with song structure and complexity
sometimes come at the expense of the overall listening quality of an
individual song. "Salt In My Lungs," another glum song, never goes
back to any earlier established melody. The song is also an example of how
no song on the album exceeds the length of 3:13 as it clocks in at an album
low of just 2:15. The unique but disjointed "Skeleton key" would have been
better minus the prominent and annoying drum beats, while the mellow
"Pocket Watch" needed a spark to help its uneventful music. The other
big downside is the fuzzy lyrics which will fail to give fans obvious
references to God that are so prevalent with Bruyere's other project, Thousand Foot Krutch.
Instead, The Drawing Room gives listeners solemn messages regarding
acting quickly in a beat up world ("Keys (The Liaison)") while
similarly, "Peddle" asks what if 'staying inside the lines' all came
down to nothing.
Full attention must be given if listeners want to get the most out of
The Drawing Room, as the music will require more concentration than
turning up. Although it's likely that The Drawing Room won't find its
way onto radio, it's an artistic side project. However that's all
Joel Bruyere's debut album is: a side project.
- Review date: 4/8/09, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com