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Dragged Up

'D/U' EP (DU Records)

By • Jan 31st, 2021 • Category: Album review

In true indie lo-fi style, these self-released six tracks were recorded to four track, and the whole kaboodle is, as you’d hope, available on that king of hissy formats, cassette.

There’s five in the band, a wee supergroup of sorts including Simon previously of the more stately Lucky Luke and Trembling Bells. Other members stem from Cosmic Dead, Las Mitras and Vom and have perhaps brought more of their previous acts’ sounds – take ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ with its long form chug of early Wire. Something of a malevolent chunder, it conjures up Patti Smith’s Scots cousin on a midnight graveyard jaunt pursued by diabolist choristers. Probably.

The band do like their titles and they often take away the heavy lifting for the reviewer – ‘Heavy Chevy Malibu’ sounds as you might expect, Bratmobile versus Au Pairs, trashy garage expertly executed by clear aficionados of the (sub) genre.

Less simple is what follows – we seem to be doing this track-by-track and
‘The Jiangshi’ (who can say… oh, a “hopping vampire”, of course…) is another long meandering effort in the vein of the Velvets, as the band try, we presume, to summon up the aforementioned spirit as throbbing bass drives an epic breakdown around seven minutes in.

Suddenly, all is calm as ‘Return of Dafthead’ eases in with more ethereal voices, and a voice intones “shadow is cast… scaring off crows”, before the serenity is shattered as an almighty distorted fuzz punk riff sends all corvids in the vicinity heading for their lofty nests.

Ok, we’re stumped. To be fair, ‘Happy Birthday, Glen and Phyllis’ is fooling no-one as the expected squalls of feedback arrive right on cue, providing a bed for a Sonic Youth-style spoken word piece. Google isn’t much help, though the titular G&P may or may not exist, as US ‘Sexologists’.

Closer ‘Voodoo Tabard’ is perhaps the most ordinary fuzz rocker in the collection, though it does rock mightily for all its basic form for a full seven minutes. And the lyrics match the excellent title – offering praise to the “voodoo queen of the school canteen”.

In all, ‘D/U’ is a whole mess of fun, made by a combo who are clearly enjoying themselves, and if anyone else does that’s a bonus. And many surely will – after all, what’s not to like?

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