“Dralms spits and curses below the sweet top layer. Below, in the miserable underbelly, sits something built to explode under the weight of its own industrial misery.” – Portals Music
Dralms, the latest project for songwriter Christopher Smith, is more a reinvention than a fresh moniker. Working with long-time collaborators Shaunn Watt, William Kendrick and Peter Carruthers, the project delivers a darker, more complex sound than that of Smith’s solo work. Bringing into the equation Andy Dixon’s production and electronics Dralms packs a heavier punch, instantly dragging the listener into the depths of the song and demanding undivided attention. The band’s rst release, Crushed Pleats, has a swampy ambience and deep bass pulse. Smith’s lyrics push listeners to look through a dystopian lens, exposing powerlessness, fear, rhetoric, and ignorance. The socio-political implications on Crushed Pleats’ track “Divisions of Labour,” exist contextually, behind a confession of lust. Smith’s words drip with derision as he chants longingly, “if my heart had its will / kill kill kill.” The title track, “Crushed Pleats,” grows from a fog of drone. Howling gusts of ambience haunt Smith’s tale of portent seduction as he sings, “you let your hair down / little birds come tumbling to the ground.” Beyond the poetic prowess of the lyrics, the band’s strength is their ability to devise all-consuming instrumental build-ups. These forceful swells are thickened with cavernous bass chords and weaving electronic textures; Smith’s vocals sit atop as smooth and varied as stained glass. Dralms is currently working on a full-length album at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC with producer/engineer John Raham.