Review: First Draft ‘Declines Are Long Gone’

French in origin and formed five years ago in 2016, duo Marine Arnoult on drums and vocals and Clement Douam on bass, have created an imposing and intensive album. This, the follow up to 2018 Irony & Smiles is lyrically very strong, almost poetic when viewed alone on the printed page, ’You know we’re dying right’ from opener Declines Are Long Gone or ‘There are no cages I believe in’ from A Chapter On Each Page hints that the lyrics have been well considered by the authors just as much as the music.

First Draft 'Declines Are Long Gone'

The words add weight and strength to this wall of post-rock aggression and the delivery by Marine is excellent and very real as this five-track album makes for a compelling listen. A wonderful vocal whereby there is no question as to the honesty in her delivery. Clement displays great taste in his use of bass and atmospherics also. First Draft is about ‘converting one’s psychological barriers, meeting the challenges of the modern world into beauty and philosophy’.

This adjustment in taking the negativity of where we all are now and spinning it to kill the pessimism to produce an optimism is to be applauded in these days, we all live. Time Hails No Suns proclaims ‘We hope time resolves every plight like passers-by’ and we instantly understand the meaning, however, within the confines of the music there is so much more on offer, a wanting and a needing for this to be realised.

a wonderful album with diversity and passion…

Kneel Down In Silence offers up ‘Oaths will fight the waves, you’ll get stronger with the tides’ plus lastly Obey The Rhyme with the line ‘The weight on your mind, how long has it been there?’ suggests a constant soul searching from the author. The songs on display here are technically and emotionally demanding and as with most things French there is an intensity in feeling, whether happy or sad and I think the romantic side to the French is based on a deep desire to plough the depths of ourselves, whether through love or destruction. There’s too much evidence out there to prove otherwise I’m afraid.

There are elements of shoegaze and stoner rock here for sure, but I would rather bypass genres and suggest you approach this band with an open mind and for anyone who likes bands who ‘mean it man’, then shift your attention to First Draft. The title track suggests a Placebo influence, but there is so much more going on, particularly on A Chapter On Each Page which is one of my favourite offerings on here.

First Draft deserve to be acknowledged outside of France, they have created a wonderful album with diversity and passion, and more importantly a strong identity of sound that warrants to be heard by anyone who demands honesty and angst in their rock and roll.

Label: LyloProd
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Tim Keppie