A Place to Live is similar to Dri Hiev’s sophomore EP Contravirtual in that it generates a chaotic, swirling cloud of sound and disorientation. However, A Place to Live has added a post-punk quality to their noise. The result is emotionally evocative and highly experimental.
One of my favourite elements of Dri Hiev’s sound is Crough’s screeching vocals. On this release, however, his vocals evoke emotion through dissonant tone and melody rather than harshness. This change generates a refined type of cloudy angst reminiscent of Joy Division.
Dri Hiev does have a tendency to overpower the vocals with drums and samples. While I can respect this as an artistic choice, it makes listening to the music exhausting at times.
Where A Place to Live excels is in the composition. Individual tracks have interesting changes in melody and pace. Pacing is a huge part of listenability on heavily chaotic albums and Dri Hiev have a great grasp of this. For example, the first two tracks come in heavy on noise and chaos but the third track comes in softer. This change in momentum gives listeners a chance to regain their footing after all the intensity.
Overall, A Place to Live shows that Dri Hiev is not afraid to explore new sounds and directions. Their passion for exploration will continue to drive them closer to unique sound. In the future I hope to see more experimentation with sampling and synths. I will be keeping an eye on Dri Hiev’s journey through genre and advise you to do the same.