Posted by: will | August 30, 2006

Drag The River…

BEST NEW MUSIC

Drag The River “It’s Crazy” (Suburban Home)

Buy it at Insound!

For some reason, 2006 has been a year that I have finally given a chance to a lot of bands that I’ve been meaning to listen to for years now. Drag The River are one of those bands. If It’s Crazy is any indication, I need to do a thorough purchase of the band’s back catalog. The first thing that jumps out at me is the wonderfully warm and familiar vocals of Chad Price. If you don’t know, Mr. Price sings for a little pop-punk band called All. Drag The River have little in common with pop-punk though. This is alt-country rock at its finest…perfect for, as Drag The River puts it, rednecks, rejects and lonely losers.

There is a Drive-By Truckers feel to Drag The River’s songwriting in that songs are switched back and forth between different vocalists. While the Truckers do it with a three vocal attack, Drag The River just have two main vocalists. It’s no less powerful though. Price and Jon Snodgrass split the vocals. Casey Prestwood, of Hot Rod Circuit, is a newer member to the band. What he adds on steel and lead guitars is subtle but adds a whole lot to the songs. The record touches on the usual subjects of their peers…heartbreak, religion, drinking and mortality.

Price’s vocals in “Leavin’ In the Morning” start the record off. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking song of death and redemption. Snodgrass is up next with “Tired & Fired” which pretty much speaks for itself. It echoes my usual daily thoughts of I’m always tired. “Beautiful & Damned” is perhaps the most profound song on It’s Crazy. Price’s vocals are noticeably deeper here as the subject matter grows dark. The lyrics of I believe in time/Time can heal your wounds if you can’t/You’re beautiful and damned are powerful to say the least. “Amazing G” is another standout track that has Price’s vocals at the forefront. The beginning lyrics of She once believed in Jesus/But she never believed in love/Now she worships at the altar of alcohol will suck you in. What’s so incredibly enticing about this record is how authentic it plays while still sounding completely modern. That’s not an easy task but Drag The River nail it.

It’s surprising to me how a band like Lucero has flourished in such a short time within the indie rock scene while a band like Drag The River seems to still be struggling to find their footing. Frankly, I’ll take Drag The River any day of the week and I’m a Lucero fan. The songwriting here is much more varied than any Lucero record. I don’t mean to belittle Lucero here. I’m just trying to make a simple point. Drag The River should be much bigger than they are. Perhaps It’s Crazy can get them there. It certainly should.

RIYL: Lucero, Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt

Listen:

Drag The River – Leavin’ In The Morning (mp3)

Drag The River – Me & Joe Drove Out To California… (mp3)

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Responses

  1. thansk for checking out Drag. I highly recommend their entire catalog. And you will get the chance to as we just inked a deal to re-issue “Hobo’s Demos”, “Closed” and “Chicken Demos”. Thanks for the review.

  2. hey virgil…thanks for checking out the blog. send me stuff to review!

  3. […] fanfare due to their back catalog being reissued through Suburban Home. I reviewed their 2006 album here. The album clocked in at #8 on my Top 40 of 2006. Fans of Lucero, Drive-By Truckers and Uncle […]


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