Junk Drawer
Ready for the House
Art for Blind Records

You know when the second you hear something and it’s just so pleasing it takes you by surprise?  I think that’s a pretty good indicator that you can rank that song or that record up there with some of the greats, and I’m glad to say that Belfast’s foursome Junk Drawer’s fresh debut release, Ready For The House, does just that.

Immediately upon hearing this album I’ve instantly taken a very strong liking to it as it reaches within me like a kind gift, maybe because it embodies and mixes qualities or styles that are nostalgic to me. Its fuzzy, trippy, shoe gazey and ambient sounds create a real happy place. And I say this knowing that it was created with a backdrop of members having dealt with tough issues like eating disorders and depression. The positiveness that clearly comes through is rendered through it all by their overcoming those hard times. These multi-instrumentalists – Jake Lennox, Stevie Lennox, Brian Coney and Rory Dee – have delivered something truly special, musically and lyrically utterly enjoyable.

The start of this album, with ‘What I’ve Learned/What I’m Learning,’ is a super heavy and deep and goo-ey like molasses lament, with deep low riffs and melodic guitar slowly melding in. Then surprise and behold, things get very fast and suddenly I’m floored by the impassioned lyrics and thrustful energy swarming and engulfing, keeping things just going on in this magic song of tricks. You can rock out or vibe out with absolute abandon to this. Both Jake and Stevie, brothers, share the vocals on this in what is essentially two songs perfectly blended.

‘Year of the Sofa,’ a really funny title, is languid and floats dreamily, with colourful splashes and layering, like liquid gum drops. I can see myself falling in love with this song. It’s somehow comforting and beautiful, making me yearn for sunny days of yesteryear, and the middle section gets super heavy for a spell, then just continues on this meandering path till the end.

Year of the Sofa

'Year of the Sofa' The first hit single from our debut album 'Ready for the House', out later this year. Featuring "Rambling" Jake Lennox, this tale of rowdy escapades & close calls explores a young cowboy's quest for inner resolve in the lonesome, crowded West.This video is streaming via Clash Magazine who said "the knackered pace is reminiscent of Galaxie 500, while the interweaving barbed wire guitar lines could be the work of Television."Listen: https://open.spotify.com/track/16gogj26QIad05LZY7ikg2Buy: https://junkdrawerbelfast.bandcamp.com/track/year-of-the-sofaView .jpgs: https://www.instagram.com/junkdrawerband/

Posted by Junk Drawer on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Next song, ‘Ego Death in Akron Ohio,’ begins with thoughtful and meaningful sparse guitar picking with a thundering boom and then slow hypnotic singing. It rumbles and treads heavy, but also lightly and so so slowly. Junk Drawer are masters at creating such a deepness and ambient mood, such carefullness and patience, moving us through murky moments and clear and sharp passionate emploringness. The guitars are like scyths, the distortion and reverb are like mist crawling on the forest bed, drifting up to the sky and heavens beyond. Incredible ending effects to boot.

I heard the captain counting his pennies
Was a conflict of motion he was caught in between
But his eyes are sad when he thinks I’m not looking

With ‘Mumble Days’ a king of jangly acoustic sounding guitar starts up and then the tempo builds and the rumbling bass, vocals and drums all emerge. This is more upbeat, a song that particulary brings out nostalgia tones, making me long for past moments, things and times, reminding me of stuff I listened to – gosh 20-30 years ago. It’s soothing and brings to me some sort of joyful feeling although the lyrics are rather dark.

On the night of crooked half-lies
You stayed a while to catch unknown eyes
I turned my conscience who wiped away the sweat
And I was told he must be better off having not met me yet

‘INFJ’ is beautifully atmospheric with a trippy beginning and throughout, that sways and revs up to a rhythm that is steadily building and growing. It feels like a grooving mysterious space journey into the cosmos. A delightful sinking tempo rides you along. This is a slow burn, with twinkly bits, and a real head mover. I love the mesh of distortion and to and fro movement and the heavy disonent guitar riffing, with flashy accents and the singing is so real and heartfelt. At the end you are sucked up, lifted you up to the stratosphere. A contender of best song on this record for me with really etherial-like singing and such powerful lyrics.

Oh sweet vagaries
Unending paths that do not meet
I don’t know, I cannot see, I’ll tell you secrets you can’t keep
But if I say a thousand things I might be able to say nothing at all

Already lifted up, ‘Temporary Day’ keeps you there and ready to dance to this space-y gem. Warbly and minimalistic, with spiraly sounds and wicked guitar playing like flying saucers,  a rich tapestry of movement and sounds, wrapping you up, to an ear splitting and ungraspable finish.

The finale, ‘Pile,’ enters with an eloquent guitar hook, transporting you into this – impassioned and heart hitting, mellow and mid-tempo to heavy imploring and soul yearnfulness, to an apex of all that is and all that should be of just explosive desire and gut-wrenching feeling and love. Its moments are a sense of foreverness, unendingness, unforgettableness despite the lyrics which scream out the contrary.

Just one stolen moment
Less endless
At the point where delight fades into delirium

Bottom line you need to check Junk Drawer out, trust me you won’t be disappointed.