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 vague lyrics.
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
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