Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Junk Drawer offer a harsh reality on their tormented debut Ready For The House

"Ready For The House"

Release date: 24 April 2020
Junk Drawer Ready For The House Album Art Colourless pen drawing of a bedroom
22 April 2020, 11:00 Written by Ben Lynch
The first striking thing about Junk Drawer’s debut album actually has nothing to do with the music. As you glance at the album title and band name, it seems for a moment as if an excerpt from a checklist, confirming that the junk drawer is indeed now ready for the house.

While the intention behind this is almost certainly non-existent, the notion of something discarded and unsavoury becoming accepted feels strangely pertinent once the music comes into play. A dense and often disconcerting beast, Ready For The House recreates the suffocating feelings of self-doubt, denial, illness, self-affirmation and acceptance that plague huge swathes of young people as they slog through gruelling periods of self-discovery. Written against the backdrop of bouts of depression and personal crises suffered by the Junk Drawer’s two vocalists, brothers Jake and Stevie Lennox, the result is a fog of apathy and distortion punctuated by occasional moments of encouraging clarity.

This volatile style is expressed from the very first track, “What I’ve Learned/What I’m Learning”. Developing from a lumbering start into a hyper post-punk charge, Stevie asserts with some relief about halfway through that “I have arrived, I know the secret to contentment now/I can see a thousand screens of possibility”. This sort of assurance is short-lived, appearing here as well as on two tracks fronted by Jake, “Mumble Days” and “Temporary Day”. These are moments to treasure however, as you quickly realise such sentiments are largely lost in the depths plunged throughout Ready For The House.

And boy, does it reach some depths. The inertia expressed on the wallowing “Year Of The Sofa” reaches Pile levels of wrought despair, Stevie exorcising the frustration of “fantasies that leave me unsatisfied”. It’s the closer though, which amusingly is actually called “Pile”, that most excruciatingly details the pain suffered when self-doubt reaches its zenith. Lackadaisical guitar melodies, vocals and drum beats drag themselves through six minutes of apathy and self-destruction, Stevie highlighting the emotional dead end he finds himself in as he confesse how he “lost myself to myself”. The paradox is stark; the rationale behind a lot of these experiences often don’t make sense. Unfortunately though that doesn’t make them any less debilitating.

Prone to slumping its shoulders and getting caught in a state of perpetual self-analysis, Ready For The House nonetheless characterises notions of frustration, confusion and occasionally acceptance to great effect. An indulgent and affecting release, it is oddly empowering in its candidness. Discomfort and uncertainty seep through pretty much every note played, every word sung, and not a moment of it feels contrived.

The moments of clarity go some way to dispelling the fog, but the underlying sentiment here is clear; this is how low you can get, and this is just how much it hurts.

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