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Album review: 'Honey from the Rock' 

Druse

"Honey from the Rock"

Head2Wall Records

druse.bandcamp.com

Love is music's favorite topic. More often than not, though, music's love comes in shallow forms. It's shiny infatuation or sad yet optimistic heartache. "All you need is love" sounds good on paper, until you realize reality is little more complicated. "Honey from the Rock" is an album about love, but on its debut full-length album, Druse achieves the rare feat of exploring love in all of its complicated, ugly truths.

With an almost literary quality, a loose story arc plays out across the album's 11 tracks, and the Rochester post-hardcore band grapples with the world's messiness: love of a significant other; love for oneself; a caretaker's love; love for a God; love for a place and time; addiction to substances and to people; destruction of love; and all of the disappointment that comes when love is not realized. Jewish mysticism plays a large role on the album — "Honey from the Rock" is also the title of Lawrence Kushner's introduction to Jewish mysticism — and it's most prominently seen in a screamed chant of "ahavah," Hebrew for "love," on the track "Annalisa."

It's apparent the members of Druse threw their souls into this album. The band's 2016 EP, "The Way That We Ache," was a heavy, exciting example of post-hardcore breaking its box, and on this debut LP, the band is tighter, more mature, and more adventurous. Emo, math rock, and ambient influences are seen all over "Honey from the Rock," and the album is simply compelling — an aggressive trip you want to see through to the end.

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