The last album I reviewed, Bingo Queen by Cat Valley, was sent to me weeks in advance. Therefore, I had the opportunity to listen to it many times. I contemplated my angle, changed it, researched more, and settled on a mixture of ideas. Suburban Legend by Durry is on the other end of my listening spectrum. I recently received it, and instead of many listens, I am giving it a first ear review, something like a stream-of-consciousness critique. Let’s see how it goes.
Suburban Legend by Durry
“Coming of Age” – I am surprised by the full sound of this band. I believe it is a duo, but I am questioning my research after hearing some of this song. Austin’s voice reminds me of a barista at one of my all-time favorite coffee shops. Is it 90s music with humor? I am into his wordplay and the vocals as music, especially in a lyric-heavy song. “You can call me a quitter, I’m calling it a coming of age.”
“Who’s Laughing Now” – This song helped Durry get recognition on TikTok. “But I’m still living in the basement.” It is pretty catchy, and I like the music. It makes me feel like I’m back in college. While it uses humor, the lyrics are relevant. They touch on ideas and feelings that many people have right now. This is an Anthem song.
“Hasta La Vista Baby” – Ok. I like the beginning of this song. “This is not like the movie you know so well, not everyone gets what they deserve.” I cannot help but focus on the lyrics. Austin’s voice is the focal point. At times, it sounds like Eddie Vedder. “I know I’m not the hero…”
“TKO” – The music is clean. “I came up a dollar short,” at Taco Bell on the first date. Yeah. That’s the mentality of this band. “Do you remember the first time we kissed, I said I got second-hand chapstick.” Hahaha. I’m into these lyrics—self-deprecating and relatable. The music matches the feeling. It’s big and poppy.
“Worse For Wear” – Ouch. This is a hard song. They are really going at society here. The sad thing is that there is truth to it. “Trickle down sounds a little like swimming upstream.” Going at Boomers and Gen Xers. But mostly the boomers. There is a nice musical exit in this song.
“I’m Fine (No Really)” – About Schizophrenia? “No really, I’m fine.” I like the tempo of this song. This might be one of my favorites so far. Is this band really a duo? It feels like there should be at least four or five members. Either way, I imagine being at a show and seeing Austin standing in front of an audience as he screams this song into the microphone.
“Mall Rat” – Do people still hang out at malls? Or is Austin just showing his age? Ok, he’s talking about when he was 16. “The air smells like hair dye and Cinnabon.” I am confused about who he is singing to because this sounds more like a Gen X song.
“Little Bit Lonely” – Starts with that 64-bit sound. The electronic beat during the bridge is cool. I like the pace of these songs. They sound like they are always anxious. Not in Austin’s voice or how they play their instruments, just the speed. Not that they are racing through the songs. Maybe their Adderall is kicking in. There is a little of the eighties lingering in the sound.
“Losers Club” – Ok. Definitely stepping back in the 80s. “You’ll only be the winner of the Losers Club.” A few of these songs reflect on their teenage years, the power they felt, and the promise of what was to come. An anthem for society today. All of us, except for the top 1%
“Trauma Queen” – The guitar opening here. Key elements of these songs: The lyrics, the intro, and the exit. The main body of each song is similar in pace, timing, and structure. Ok, maybe I’m wrong. There’s an interesting part about three-quarters of the way in.
“Suburban Legend” – The intro reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins. Are they the suburban legend? I actually don’t know much about that band. Oh no, my ADHD is getting the best of me. That’s pretty good. It’s a good sign that I have been able to stick with this album this long. Again, there was a cool moment about ¾ of the way in. I love the pace. Fast. No faster. Punching with the guitar.
“Encore” – The last song. It starts slow. Ok. They saved it for the end of the album. It does pick up the pace. I like it when I can hear the guitar work. I like what this song builds to. Ends with a bit of hope. Crowd cheering.
Final Thoughts: As you can see, I had to focus on the lyrics because they always demanded the most attention. Maybe musicians will be better at focusing on the music, but I am a writer. And the words matter when listening to Durry.
This is a very coherent album. It is well put together and exceptional for a debut album, though that doesn’t mean Millennials and Gen Zers will listen to it all the way through. (It’s what’s lost in digital music.) I’m glad I did, especially with that “Encore” ending. I am interested to see where they go from here.
Favorite Songs: “I’m Fine (No Really),” “Little Bit Lonely,” and “Encore”
Rating - 4.75/5