Nashville group Courtesy Drop recently released their second album - Songs to Drive to; Cry, and Make Love To within the past month from Animal Style Records. Lead singer Paul Chalos admits that the record has no intended lyrical theme and it was written with depression, complacency, and reflection in mind. Although the album suffers a tad from a lack of production values, Courtesy Drop's brand of emo rock with a slight touch of grunge is a unique offering that deserves your attention.
Immediately upon first listen I was struck by the unpolished sound production on Songs to Drive to; Cry, and Make Love To. Clearly it was done on purpose to drive home their style of depressive rock, but at times the lyrics are difficult to understand over the guitar riffs. Chalos sounds best when the guitar is toned down and his vulnerable soft lyrics take center stage as evidenced in "Goodbye, Fairlane Drive." On another highlight track, "Dormant Dreams," Chalos laments that "...wasting away is how I spent the better part of my days..." For better and for worse, Courtesy Drop utilizes familiar guitar chords that mesh the entire album together.
Fuzz dominates the background and when tunes turn heavy, the resulting sound becomes extremely muddled. The band does change it up on a few tracks, most notably on "Not All Those Who Feel Pain Are Hurt" with futuristic music and on "Fork in the Road" where Chalos is joined by an unnamed female vocalist. The record is loaded with 18 tracks, but it should be mentioned that the final portion is totally comprised of instrumentals. With higher production values and a sense of creative direction, Courtesy Drop could be a band to watch for in the future. Listeners with a fondness for softer grunge fare will enjoy Songs to Drive to; Cry, and Make Love To the most with its blend of unpolished sound and emotive lyrics. Highly Recommended.