REVIEW BY JAMES DOMINKO
When I think about the Australian music scene, the biggest hotspots have always been Melbourne and Sydney (with my heart always holding a special personal place for Tassie). But Darwin isn’t exactly a place you hear a lot of music coming out of. Aside from Tapestry, I couldn’t name another band coming out of the territory.
So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I was passed on Draftday’s new track – ‘Misspent’. I was ready to see what the NT had to offer.
For the uninitiated, Draftday formed in 2019 and had a big year with a supporting slot for Melbourne heartthrobs Belle Haven on their ‘Forget Me Not’ Show in Darwin, taking part in Darwin’s Fringe Festival Opening Night Party, and their single ‘En Soi’ being featured on Triple J’s Home and Hosed. Not a bad first year at all.
That sure is a lot of praise and adulation. Draftday are influenced by bands like Gang of Youths & Ceres (the best band ever, fight me if you think otherwise), but sounding more like a combination Trophy Eyes vocally and rhythmically Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on ‘Misspent’. To me, there are two sections of the song that stand out. Firstly, post-bridge, the dual singing/screaming vocals are done well and balance each other out nicely without being too in your face. Secondly and coincidentally the ending of the song has this really punchy and tight crescendo that just leaves me wanting more.
Ironically I didn’t get that same feeling throughout the rest of the song. The chorus felt really flat and there just wasn’t really anything else that caught my attention. ‘Misspent’ is a decent enough track, and I see a lot of potential for the band pushing forward with that sound to a wider audience, there’s just nothing compelling that makes me want to come back to ‘Misspent anytime soon. I was left wanting more from this song and I never really got it.
I do love all of the above mentioned bands more than I could properly put into words, (seriously, if you’ve ever been around me in person, you know how much I don’t shut up about Ceres) I just can’t really see too much of a Gang of Youths / Ceres impact in the sound. Looking back, I can see the influence coming in on previous single ‘En Soi’, and that laid back sound offers a lot more substance to me personally.
Credit where credit is due though, the accompanying music video for ‘Misspent’ was super well done. Created by Tom Ford, it’s a video that perfectly accompanies the sound with a lot of psychedelic colours and effects. It’s the sort of video where there’s nothing extravagant or adventurous going on, but there doesn’t need to be, it’s as simple as shots of the band performing the track but stylistically and visually it’s a treat to watch.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out of your way to listen to this song. A good friend once told me that as a reviewer, you simply share your opinion. In the scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. If you listen to the song and you like it, all the power to you! Misspent just isn’t really for me, but I’d be really interested to see what else Draftday has up their sleeve in the future.