Drags Set Right Fit To Blow Clean Up

The Drags have added a second guitarist and a new drummer to their line-up for this LP. It opens with a smoking and brutal instrumental, “This Is The Sound Of Hard Rock,” which also boasts an oscillator wailing away in the background. With its half chanted/half sung boy/girl vocals buried in the mix, “Dirty Little Bird” sounds like a cross between Sonic Youth and Jon Spencer — garage skronk, if you will. For most of the rest of the disc they churn out a bracing mix of punk and skronk, seeming to take the Stooges free jazz leanings, à la Funhouse, as inspiration while moving the whole shebang deeper into the garage. “Jet Lag” is a C&W piss take, while “No Matter What Shape (Your Head Is In)” sounds like Joy Division covering Bowie. The latter is also the best track on the disc, though the wah-wah filled “FM Shades” is pretty tasty too, evoking primo Mudhoney. Their version of Led Zep’s “Communication Breakdown” kicks ass in a major way. It’s noisy and trashy, and you almost expect them to drop into “Whole Lotta Love” at the end. Actually, I was a tad disappointed when they didn’t. (Estrus)