Shallow Bed

Dry the River take their music so seriously, even Sting would giggle. The debut from this London five-piece, who've gotten loads of Mumford & Sons comparisons, shouts "We're intense!" at every moment – especially in the trembling falsetto of former choirboy Peter Liddle. He crams his tales of spiritual torment with biblical and agrarian imagery (oxen, a woodcutter) as the music, played in shifting rhythms, rises like – well, it can't rise because it's always at a full-on peak, especially when joined by the group's violinist, who is, alas, classically trained. It's like a Portlandia satire of the world's most studious band.

Listen to "Weights & Measures":

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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1155: April 26, 2012