DRAG – Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind

Drag Online Promo Shot

With greater potential in its body than maybe actually exposed in its fiery riot, Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind the new album from UK punks DRAG, is nevertheless a rather compelling and increasingly enjoyable provocation to get teeth and thoughts into. Nine tracks of old school seeded punk with as much of a nineties twist to its predation as modern inventions, the release is an attention grabbing and imagination stirring entrance by the Midlands quartet.

Since forming, the Birmingham four-piece has earned a strong reputation through their live presence which has seen them play alongside the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer, as well as a couple of earlier EPs. Their sound as evidenced on the crowd funded Neurotica, is like a raw and antagonistic merger of Au-Pairs and L7 with just as healthy essences of In Evil Hour and Penetration. It is a mix which you expect to be explosive and for the main is within the potent album, though it does miss that key spark to set the promise openly surging through its creativity and sound truly ablaze.

With songs which look at uncompromising themes ranging from self-harm, mental health, to sexuality, Neurotica takes little time in awakening attention and appetite with the opening title track. From the initial scrub of acidic guitar punctuated by thumping beats, the song takes a swift hold and even more so when the band expel a raw and flame of attitude and sonic causticity led by vocalist Heather. The track snarls and rumbles enticingly with the bass of Matt and abrasing guitar craft of Velma crafting an infectious web framed by the punchy rhythms of drummer Andy. Littered with resourcefully catchy hooks around the appealing vocals, it is a formidable and convincing start to entwine thoughts and emotions easily.

The following Fine with its opening moody bass tempting also needs little effort to engage ears and imagination, its strong initial lure expanding into a more reserved but no less potent expanse of rapacious enterprise and contagious DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artworkprovocation. It is not a song to startle but certainly keeps the initial impact of the album high before the mighty Axewound preys on the senses. Lyrically and musically it takes no prisoners, with that earlier Au Pairs reference at its most open on both aspects, the raw and honest approach very similar to that offered a few decades ago by those fellow Brummie protagonists. The track is alive with agitated rhythms, intrigue spiced hooks, and a ferocious breath which all combines for one of the major highlights of the album pushing forward the exciting potential of the band.

Next up The Ugly romps with rhythmic bait which inspires another wash of greed to an already hungry appetite whilst the grizzled bass tone found by Matt grumbles potently within the weave of sonic and defiant endeavour. The song keeps things roaring nicely but does lack the stature and persuasion of its predecessors as does in some ways Dandy Boy, though in other aspects it stands out pleasingly. A union of acoustic guitar and the melodic tones of Heather, her voice revealing more of its strength here than at any other point of the release, the song gently caresses and provokes, keeping its poise and lure as the rest of the band bring their evocative touches to the increasingly intensive track. Keys add good expression to the song too though it also feels like there is a spark missing to really exploit its creative strength, something which applies to Neurotica as a whole.

Shock & Bad Taste with its more defined L7 lures comes next to set feet and reactions on eager edge, its riling riffs and jabbing rolling beats as inviting as the vocal belligerence and sonic entrapment colouring the richly satisfying track. It is soon left sounding a little pale though by Hell 7 (American Mary), the track a ferocious scorching of corrosive riffs and merciless rhythms from the first second which settles into a less threatening gait for a few breaths before unleashing a chorus which gnaws at the senses with anthemic mastery. Again it is fair to say that there is not much to challenge the boundaries of punk rock but plenty to give it an invigorating incitement.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the pleasing Wet with its scowling sound and challenging premise, and lastly through the predatory stalking of Dead Zebra. Both tracks ignite another wave of satisfaction if again failing to match previous heights upon the album; the forced vocal growls offered by Heather in the last of the two an element which defuses the potency of the song and leaves thoughts feeling unconvinced for the only time. Each song still leaves Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind on a high with that rich promise flooding both, as it does the album, to leave pleasure high and excited anticipation over DRAG ahead.

Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind is available now on the band’s own Sleazy Punk Records @ http://dragbirmingham.bandcamp.com/album/neurotica-a-compendium-of-tales-regarding-body-mind-2

http://www.sleazypunk.com/

8/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

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DRAG unveil their ‘Neurotica’, on 28th July‏

Drag Online Promo Shot

SLEAZY PUNK ROCKERS ‘DRAG’ DROP THEIR EXPLOSIVE DEBUT ALBUM ‘NEUROTICA’ ON MONDAY 28th JULY THROUGH ALL NATIONAL STORES.

“If being different is the key to success then surely DRAG are destined for greatness” – BBC Music

“A sleazy punk band with grown-up songs, great image and a live show to match? Yeah, we couldn’t resist either’ – Skin Deep Magazine

 

If Courtney Love and Sid Vicious had a baby and it was raised on The Dresden Dolls, L7 and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, what would it sound like? DRAG are the answer. The brazen four-piece have been reared in Birmingham and were conceived over three years ago. Spewing out raucous riffery and killer hooks, the rising Midlanders spit out a sound that’s loaded with attitude and unbridled energy. Their stage show is always mesmerising and hard-hitting; their performances ooze sexual prowess and are as compelling as they are defiant.

 

Composed of Heather (Vocals), Velma (Guitar), Matt (Bass), and Andy (Drums), DRAG have toured throughout the UK and have shared the stage with the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls). The High-flying foursome have also made numerous appearances throughout the tattoo festival circuit. As well as building a formidable live reputation, the unstoppable noiseniks have received glowing accolades from everyone from Skin Deep to BBC; the sleazy punks have also racked up critical acclaim throughout the underground.

 

DRAG’s music was born out of a love for the 90’s riot grrrl era, and their DIY ethic has been one of the defining features of the band since their inception. It is therefore a natural progression that their forthcoming debut album, “Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind” has been funded completely independently through Kickstarter. As the title suggests, “Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind”, deals with some deep and dark topics; with lyrical themes that address issues that most other bands wouldn’t touch, such as self-harm, mental health, and sexuality, DRAG do this without sacrifice or apology—their music is their art and the band pour everything into their craft. From the tragically poignant ‘Dandy Boy’ to the explosively aggressive ‘Dead Zebra’, DRAG take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions and have produced an electrifying album that will command your attention.

 DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artwork

-DRAG ‘NEUROTICA – A COMPENDIUM OF TALES REGARDING BODY AND MIND’ IS OUT ON MONDAY 28th JULY THROUGH ALL STORES-

www.sleazypunk.com

 

Supercharger: Retox EP

UK rock band Supercharger gave strong indication they were a band to watch out for with their debut EP Smashing Up The Future and compounded that and more with their debut album Wrong Side Of The Head. Now the band are set to unleash their new EP Retox May 7th and simply they have taken another leap forward to further mark themselves as one of best underground rock bands in the UK and mere steps away from larger and further afield recognition.

Formed in 2007, the quartet from Newcastle Upon Tyne create rock music that hits hard, snarls and bites with aggression, and is as infectious as a nudist beach to under aged teens. It is loud, eager, and thoroughly mischievous, just how rock n roll should be. As mentioned from their debut release through Nascar Records Supercharger immediately drew attention not to mention their raucous and irrepressible live shows but it was with a line-up change in 2009 that a definition and focus emerged to take the band on to another level. Their music is fuelled with attitude, a boisterous mix of rock and punk that is like The Wildhearts and DC4 in a riotous union with Eddie and The Hot Rods and The Damned with a splash of Therapy? in for good measure. Since forming they have shared stages with the likes of Wednesday 13, Sorry and the Sinatras, Bullets and Octane, and Eureka Machines, as well as Ginger “wildhearts” and friends, their sound a ready and eager fit with all styles of rock.

The EP comes with three tracks that burst with muscular combative riffs, infectious melodies and compulsive grooves all  wrapped in a middle finger punk intent that whips the senses up into a willing frenzy.  There is also an unapologetic pop punk essence that adds to the addictive sounds making each song an immediate friend and rebellious companion. The title track is the perfect example; opening up on an easy going punk vocal from Nick and the commanding beats of Denz it grabs attention from the start with incoming direct and stirring riffs. It then dips into a melodic deep breath before exploding with a chorus that reminds of the excellent UK band of the nineties Skyscraper. It is heady stuff easily matched by the other two tracks on Retox.

Postcards is a punkier slice of rock which infects with a groove that teases and taunts until compliance. The song lays a flurry of diverse and imaginative but always absorbing sidesteps as it progresses to ensure predictability never has a place near the music. With a strong flavour of Therapy? the song pulsates persistently luring one in deeper and deeper, the guitars of Nick and John winding the senses around their open and acidic riffs whilst the riffs of Nasha grumble and growl like a bass always should. The song throws in a rock solo before its pulsating corruptive end which should not work but the band make it work to make any prospective moans redundant.

Third track Hold It Down completes the release with the same quality and irresistible presence as the others. The track stalks in with menace to then flick into a pop punk gem full of urgency and eagerness. It starts off like The Vapors, turns into Rocket From The Crypt/Hagfish before bringing the Wildhearts in to rile it all up. Do not mistake all the references for the impression the songs simply slap pieces of other bands on, it is a mere series of spices that make strong songs even tastier. The track is excellent and it and the repeat button is a need that is impossible to tear one away from.

There were expectations of something good to come from Retox but it has gone way beyond the imagined great sounds. Supercharger is a band on the march and now is the time to join their ascent before they trample you under foot on the way up.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SUPERCHARGER/104983436206547

RingMaster 27/04/2012

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Heavy Hearts Benefit Album

Friday April 6th sees the release of a fundraising album called Heavy Hearts featuring 21 bands and songs in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and also to help musician Lenny Thomas.

     Lenny Thomas (Sorry & The Sinatras/ex-Trashlight Vision drummer) found himself hospitalised due to a serious foot injury earlier in the year with serious complications arising due to his pre-existing diabetes. Though on the road to recovery thankfully, rising medical bills and the possibility that he may not be able to work for the foreseeable future if not worse have made life very difficult.

      Thomas has made a multitude of friends in music and life and they have come together and through contacting further friends in the music community to create this benefit album to help him and raise money for the charity.

The compilation will feature songs from the likes of The Wildhearts, Michael Monroe, Piggy D (Rob Zombie), Steve Conte & the Crazy Truth, Eureka Machines, Sorry & The Sinatras, The Loyalties, and Supercharger and many more with many of the artists donating rare or previously unreleased tracks.

For more information and to get the compilation from April 6th go to http://heavyheartsbenefit.com/

Heavy Hearts track listing:

1.The Wildhearts :City Overture.  The original version can be found on The Wildhearts 2007 self titled release.http://www.thewildhearts.com | http://www.gingerandfriends.com

2. Piggy D : 1975 
Piggy D. The bassist for Rob Zombie has a mouth. And it is a big one! http://www.blackvictorystore.com

3. Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth : The Truth Ain’t Pretty
The former New York Dolls, current Michael Monroe guitarist/singer/songwriter brings you into “his” New York on his eponymously titled debut. (Varese Sarabande Records) ”Genuine rock and roll…” – Steve Lillywhite (U2, Rolling Stones Producer), “Music to instigate & soundtrack fighting, fucking, speeding, hurling abuse and waking up buck-naked in a stranger’s bathroom…” – Classic Rock Magazine (8 stars) http://www.steveconteandthecrazytruth.com

4. The Loyalties : Whole Lotta Hate (previously unreleased)
Demo mix of a previously unreleased song from the forthcoming album & book Til The Death Of Rock & Roll http://www.facebook.com/TheLoyaltiesSoho

5. Eureka Machines –: The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall
The Eureka Machines latest album Champion The Underdog was described by SPIN magazine as ‘ the sweet spot between 10cc and Green Day’. This track is taken from the Everyone Loves You EP.  http://www.eurekamachines.com/

6. Role Models: Cherry Dear
The ROLE MODELS are a power pop 4 piece based in London. This is off their 12″ vinyl FUCK YOU SEE YOU AT THE TALENT SHOW  that was released by Taken by Surprise (Germany). A new album is in the works as well as a solo EP by frontman Rich Rags (who apparently is quite handsome). Role Models on Facebook

7. Smoker & The Rollers : Cut Me Off
Smoker and the Rollers from Philadelphia play raw, ready and rough rock ‘n’ roll. The three piece line up  are Jay Smoker (bass and vox), Micheal Danger Dunn (drums and vox), and Ryan Moll (guitar).  Check out their debut self-titled release on ITunes and their follow up release in the Summer 2012. http://www.myspace.com/smokerandtherollers

8. The Black Halos : Radio!!
Rare 2001 demo from the upcoming album F.F.T.S. – 1994-2001 on Yeah Right! Records

9. Darlings Of Chelsea : Raise This Flag
Darlings of Chelsea are the amalgamation of Canada’s seediest, most guttural rock/punk masterminds. Culled from legendary mainstays including The Black Halos, Kill Cheerleader, Robin Black, Scratching Post, and more, Darlings of Chelsea are a new chapter in the book of Canadian rock n’ roll. http://www.darlingsofchelsea.net

10. Skag Barons : Come On
Dirty working class rock & roll from London Ontario. Dan Schultz – Guitar Nevada Brown – Drums Sean Farwell – Bass Kris Pageau – Guitar and Vocals http://www.skagbarons.com

11. CC Voltage : Radio Generation (previously unreleased)
Previously unreleased demo from the Spitfires bassists solo album A Touch Of Class… Just a Touch. CC Voltage on Facebook

12. Michael Monroe : Got Blood
Finnish rock’n’roll legend Michael Monroe capped off an amazing 2011 by bagging Classic Rock Magazine Album Of The year award for Sensory Overdrive, from which this track is taken. Still touring the world in support of the album, expect even bigger things from Michael in 2012!http://www.michaelmonroe.com

13. Billy Liar : Is It Me?
Billy Liar is an acoustic folk punk singer from Scotland. He has been touring the UK and Europe relentlessly for the last five years, leading him to be described as ‘the town centre wordsmith and backstreet philosopher…who has played more venues than anyone else of his generation – something most of his peers can only gawp at!’ Billy’s latest EP, It Starts Here, was produced by Acey Slade (Murderdolls/Amen/Trashlight Vision/Joan Jett). http://www.billyliarmusic.com

14.  Sorry & The Sinatras: Valencia (previously unreleased)
A brand-new, previously unreleased song from the upcoming Kings Of Shambles Street EP, coming soon on Bomber Music.http://www.facebook.com/sorryandthesinatras

15. Crazy Arm :Tribes/Animals
Crazy Arm set up camp in mid-2006. Not easy to categorise, and all the better for it, their sound is an accumulation of decades of influence and inspiration: rooted in hardcore/punk, 60s protest folk/country and classic rock n roll, combined with a grass-roots political overview that embraces anti-war, anti-fascist and pro-community activism. Tribes/Animals is taken from the 2011 album Union City Breath released by Xtra Mile, published by Bomber Music Ltd. http://crazyarm.bandcamp.com/

16. Obsessive Compulsive : Virago 
Dreams Of Death and The Death Of Dreams is one of the most exciting rock albums to emerge from the UK in a long, long time. It’s time to get obsessed – Dom Lawson http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

17. Brijitte West w/ Jesse Malin : How To Be Good
Former NY Loose front woman teams up with solo troubadour and D Generation frontman for a track from her solo debut album Brijitte West & The Desperate Hopefulshttp://www.lamf.biz

18. Supercharger : Hold It Down
‘upercharger hail from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England and feature ex members of Scottish heavyweights The Almighty and Geordie Punk-Poppers Whatever in their lineup. Their sound is a strong cocktail of big fat riffs, catchy melodies and addictive choruses which refuse to exit your head long after the last listen http://www.supercharger666.com

19. Thousand Watt Stare : Lights Out
Members of Dee Dee Ramone’s band and Unwritten Law team up for this heavy hitter. Their debut album Silver Dimes is out now.http://thousandwattstare.com/

20. Von Hertzen Brothers : 21st Century Schizoid Man
Von Hertzen Brothers had a massive year with their Stars Aligned album shooting to the top of the charts and going gold in their native Finland. They’ve generously donated their take on King Crimson’s classic for this compilation. http://www.vonhertzenbrothers.com

21. Texas Terri Bomb : Never Shut Up
Raw, rock & roll from our favourite Texan. Special guest guitar on this track by Wayne Kramer. http://www.reverbnation.com/texasterribomb |http://www.facebook.com/texasterribomb