The charged and blustery songs of Dry The River may signal a nod towards a Mumford and Sons-styled strumfest but despite a pastoral fiddle line here or three-part harmony there, the London band is more like British pub/folk on steroids. Their commanding and confident debut Shallow Bed (April 17 U.S.), produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), hums below the mostly acoustic surface with punkish, post-core energy, taking the songs of founding frontman Peter Liddle and coloring -- make that splashing -- them with intense, bold strokes. "New Ceremony" may begin with some gentle acoustic picking and Liddle's sandy croon but things suddenly take a dramatic turn, the band kicks in with a fury and by the time the infectious chorus hits full throttle you can practically feel the roof being raised. Things settle down a tad on "Shaker Hymns" and "Bible Belt" but it isn't long before the laid-back start of "Weights & Measures" gets gradually darker, louder and more muscular, Liddle and band harmoniously crowing the song's final verses to the heavens.
Dry The River - "New Ceremony" (from Shallow Bed)
Dry The River - "Weights and Measures" (from Shallow Bed)