A band composed of members of Junius and Rosetta seems promising. Both bands are, after all, masters of large, dramatic soundscapes that dip and peak through various volumes and levels of intensity. So the first thought would be that, with a band sharing members with both, at least some of that style would be present. Large dramatic crescendos would be the focus of the songs leading into the dramatic climaxes that embody both bands. However, that is not the case for Driftoff, a band that abandons most of the post rock/post metal elements of their parts in favor of a more straightforward punk approach. In many ways, this approach is interesting, being that it is so different from the members main projects, but, sadly, too much of the music fails to truly leave a lasting impact.
Take, for example, the opening track “Dying Light”. It has a nice little riff centric opening before launching into the rest of the song, which, oddly enough, sounds like “Shed”-era Title Fight. However, the issue is that the song doesn’t carry the same charisma that makes Title Fight so appealing. It falls flat quickly, doing little to actually capture the listener’s attention, and by the time the “breakdown” comes in, (which also does little to capture the listeners attention; the change is too minute and the riff far too dry) it’s easy to be left wanting more. As a straight forward, Title Fight/Balance and Composure type pop punk/post hardcore song, it’s not bad, but fails to actually present the energy that distinguishes those bands.
Unfortunately, the second song doesn’t really pick up the slack either and comes off as more of a variation on the first then its own, independent song. This issue, however, is not isolated to these first two tracks. The EP suffers from an issue with variety, leading the listener to question whether a new song has started, or a new phase of the song prior has begun. Had Driftoff been a more post rock/post metal oriented band, this would be fine. Those genres place a large emphasis on each song merely being part of a whole, much like a movement in a symphony, and do well to keep the flow consistent between each.
In punk, however, that option is not available, especially not in the brand of post hardcore-punk that Driftoff is aiming to create. The songs begin and end too clearly to make the claim that they are simply meant to flow into one another, but still lack distinct identities, leading to an ultimately dry listening experience. Modern Fear, despite being composed by some fine musicians, falls short overall and provides for a rather bland listening experience. It does little to capture and hold the listener’s attention due to the fact that song to song is almost entirely indistinguishable.
However, this is not to say that the band does not show potential. In a post hardcore/punk scene currently intoxicated by its love for acts like Title Fight, Balance and Composure, and Touche Amore, Driftoff shows a great amount of potential. The energy they give off throughout is consistent and high octane, but gets dragged down and muddied as songs fail to vary and remain too constantly at a slow tempo to allow for passion to shine through. Modern Fear shows a band that is still very clearly in their infantile stages, but has plenty of room to grow, making Driftoff at least a band to watch out for in the coming years.
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Driftoff – Modern Fear gets…