Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Utah’s, Gary Dranow. The single, Mellow Drama was released on February 24 2023 and fits well with Dranow’s style that we’ve come to know so well recently.

We’ve reviewed Gary several times, and also recently gave him an interview, so we were starting to feel that we know him quite well. His retro blues-rock style sits well with our review panel so we’re always happy to hear what he’s created next.

Mellow Drama is Gary’s most personal song to date. He wrote it in the third person, from the
point of view of those he’s been in relationships with, both platonic and romantic. As someone
with Bipolar with mania, he explored what it must have been like for others to be around him.

Mellow Drama comes straight in with a full band sound and a brief guitar solo. As always, we love the use of Hammond organ in the background of the track. It’s subtle, but it really fills out the sound nicely and gives the track some authenticity.

There are some interesting ska-like patterns in the rhythm guitar, making us wonder if the genre-cross was added in to match the confusion of the relationships with those around him – almost as though his thought process and behaviour patterns are keeping everyone on their toes.

Harmony vocals join the song as it progresses and we simply must draw attention to the melodic bass line which takes the lead over the offbeat guitar.

Dranow’s vocals are passionate and earnest. He has some impressive belt in the higher notes and this is a true passionate rock performance.

The guitar solo is impressive, with some interesting note choices and some truly classy playing. We liked the typical blues-rock ending to the song – it’s almost as if every musician involved wanted to have the last word!! We can imagine this is a great song to hear live because of this aspect.

Ideas from our ears

A boost in the bottom 2.5-3 octaves would increase the warmth and thump in the low end. The vocal track could use some small EQ cuts at around 200Hz, 300-350Hz and 450-500Hz to reduce some ‘muddy’ and ‘boxy’ tones. A small cut around 7kHz and a high shelf boost in the top octave would balance out the high end a little too. Finally, a light compressor/limiter and around 5dB of make-up gain would increase the warmth a little more as well as raising the overall volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Gary Dranow’s forthcoming album Destiny Road is set for release in May 2023. We’d encourage fans of retro blues rock to pre-save this. A passionate performance about a highly personal and difficult subject matter.

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