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REVIEW - Drumfish - 'Eating Dirt' (Album)

Having got together in 2020 and released a demo, 'Down' (available from Bandcamp) and debut single 'Demeanour' in 2022, Johannesburg's Drumfish have spent 2023 releasing three further singles and now their debut album 'Eating Dirt' released earlier this month. If the album title and artwork suggests a skater-punk type band, Drumfish actually operate on that nexus where alt-rock and grunge flirt with stoner rock, with a healthy dose of fuzzy garage rock thrown in. And 'Eating Dirt' is a fine opening gambit from the band with plenty to keep alt-rock / grunge and heavy rock fans entertained.

The storming 'Jitters' sets the band's stall out in fine style - it's stop-start intro and verses, and fast and furious tuneage the perfect introduction to Drumfish's fuzzy guitar rock ethos. The flanged guitar intro of 'This Is A Love Song' gives way to a punky thrash, surging bass lines and pounding drums underpinning some great guitar work while the loping, mid-tempo 'From My Spine' has some nice changes of tempo and sounds, the gentle, tuneful verses exploding into some strident choruses of alt-rock power. 'Yield' does very much tip into stoner / doom / sludge rock territory with more metal-like vocals and the pacy 'Greetings From The Room' and 'Ka Kow' are driving, hooky tunes both replete with some quieter interludes, showing off the band's ability to mix their tunes up a bit. 'Bones' is almost ballad-like with arpeggiated guitar figures and acoustic tones and a dreamy, psych feel while the album ends with the somewhat inconsequential 'It Has To Be My Way Or It Isn't Happening' - although what a great title for a song!

'Eating Dirt' has much to commend it - energy, a sense of fun, songs that at times twists and turn in unexpected places and a feeling that there's greater things to come from Drumfish and anybody who has an interest in alt-rock, grunge and garage rock will find much to enjoy in this debut album from this promising quartet. The band's Facebook page quotes them as 'comprising three guys {now four - Charles Manning (Lead Guitar / Vocals) - Jacques De Jager (Rhythm Guitar) - Sidney Weyers (Bass) and Yakean Van Vuuren (Drums / Vocals)} who have no idea what they're doing' - I beg to differ boys, this is an entertaining and engaging album and we look forward to hearing more.

'Eating Dirt' is available from the Drumfish Bandcamp page - and all the other major digital sites.

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