Album Review: Heavy Drapes – “Crashing Like Stars”
The sudden passing of Heavy Drapes frontman Garry Borland (aka Dee Liberate) last year took a lot of people by surprise. I have to be honest, I never saw the band live, but the amount of heartfelt tributes paid to him by various fellow musicians showed just how highly both he and his band were regarded and their “Should I Suck Or Should I Blow?” EP from 2017 definitely marked them out as a group with a hell of a lot of potential. Fate can sometimes be a very cruel thing.
And so as 2018 turns to 2019, we get the Heavy Drapes album that the band were on the verge of finishing before events conspired to bring things to a halt. However, after some soul-searching, the band have put the finishing touches to it and released it. And it serves as a good testament to what might have been.
The main touchpoints for “Crashing Like Stars” are the Ramones (“Should I Suck Or Should I Blow?”), the Stooges (“Number One”) and the New York Dolls (“I Wanna Be Maladjusted”), but Heavy Drapes are clearly aware that the key to a bit of loving plagiarism is adding your own spin to it, and all three of those songs are the sound of old school punk being given a 21st century spin.
This is even more pronounced on the more subtle “Into The Blue” and the ominous “Nightrippin'” which see the band varying up the pace to good effect, while the gleeful one-two-fuck-you of “Head Screwed On” and “Make Some Trouble” signs this one off in style.
Heavy Drapes don’t quite hit the target every time here (“Hangin’ Like A Suicide” and “Human Machine” are a bit unremarkable albeit high quality) but overall this is a supremely confident and listenable 21st century punk album.
In a just world, I'd be summarising this review by saying that "Crashing Like Stars" is a promising first shot that shows Heavy Drapes deserve the hype they've been getting. Unfortunately, it hasn't quite panned out like that and more's the shame. What this album is though is a fitting tribute to Garry Borland, and proves that the world of punk really did lose one hell of a bright light when he left us last year. RIP Dee, and thanks for the memories.