It was a sad day when Dry The River announced they were finishing back in 2015. Now though, former frontman PD Liddle has returned with his debut solo album, Casual Labour.
Dry The River were a band that were gone way too soon. With heartaching ballads like ‘Bible Belt’ and then rip-roaring tracks like ‘New Ceremony’, it was a shame there was only two albums released. Now, PD Liddle has ventured out on his own with his first solo effort, Casual Labour.
Casual Labour is an album packed with the rise and falls of love, life and how to cope with it all. During the opening track and lead single ‘You Shouldn’t Have Called’, it feels like he’s trying to fight these new-found feelings but eventually succumbs to them.
During ‘Excalibur’, there’s a darker tone, as his acoustic guitar has a heavier melody to it. His voice echoes at the end of each line, adding a harrowing atmosphere to the song. The introduction of the electric guitar adds a tension to the track, with a climax always feeling close.
The song finally peaks, with trumpets like a siren and pounding drums see it burst to life. PD sings about not taking things for what they are at first glance and the hair-raising conclusion is definitely a beautiful moment on the record.
PD Liddle has composed a stunning album, with gorgeous melodies and at times rousing climaxes. An album that’s taken three years to write, he also received help from Dry The River bandmates Scott Miller, Patrick Pearson and Will Harvey.
There are moments where he becomes a confidant, singing about how what you may be going through, he’s been there, you’ll be ok.
It’s an album that has remnants of Nick Drake but it’s still uniquely a beautiful record. Dry The River fans will find comfort in Casual Labour after the band’s disbandment.
The main thing about this record is just how each track comes with a frailness, each melody is so delicate. Even when a song swells into a livelier state, you always feel that the next line could break. It’s a beautiful and lovingly made record.
Songs worth putting on repeat: ‘Excalibur’, ‘Casual Labour’ and ‘Mary’