Harking from Ōtautahi Christchurch, Admiral Drowsy is one in a long line of artists with amusing pseudonyms making serious music. The project of Luke Redfern Scott is downright ominous on its second outing, clouded with synth drones, distortion, and avant garde digressions. In amongst that, though, Scott’s strength in songwriting shines though, as does his sturdy voice.
There’s a slight carnivalesque edge to songs like ‘Echoes in the Heart’, with its roaming synth arpeggio. Scott’s vocal is precise and rich, but lyrically he tends toward nihilism.
The album starts with 'River Hymn', featuring the refrain “lay back, everything’s out of control”, giving an idea of what’s to come, and sounding downright blissful.
Press for Industrial Consistency mentions a move into soundscapes, and a more challenging listening experience, and sure enough, ‘River Hymn’ gives way to an eight minute freeform one called ‘The Great Repeat’, haunted synths and saxophone blasts folded around spoken voice memos.
It’s like a moat you need to cross at track two, adventurous listeners making it through to more traditional songs on the other side.
Those are often lugubrious, evoking sea shanties or mutant folk, but usually have a strong melodic throughline, hitting a peak when Scott doubles his voice for the hook in ‘Pinnacle’.
That’s a track which flirts with soul in its piano chords and falsetto, and elsewhere on ‘Salute the King’, a vaguely Eastern progression factors in drum machines to its propulsive, searching arrangement.
In that song Scott mentions watching “the sky run amok”, an image suiting the vaguely apocalyptic feel of some of the album.
He worked with Ryan Chin, a solo musician whose production skills keep getting more adventurous, and the pair have crafted something which suits its title, Industrial Consistency, without the mechanical clatter that may suggest.
I kept thinking of Lyttelton Port, the hum of industry sitting close to a calm sea.