Superdrag Industry Giants

Superdrag Industry Giants
When a band reunite with their best line-up intact, expectations are often understandably higher than something thrown together with session players. Knowing this full well, Knoxville, TN's Superdrag reformed with their original (read: best) line-up and after doing some gigging went back into the studio. The first album with this bunch since 1998's Head Trip in Every Key, Industry Giants comes crashing out of the gates like the same band that gave us The Fabulous 8-Track Sound 13 years ago. Not to disregard 2000's valiant In the Valley of Dying Stars or 2002's underwhelming Last Call for Vitriol, but there's something about the original players that elevates front-man John Davis's songwriting. Though his early throwbacks to influences like the Beatles seem less obvious here, the oozing fuzz of "Everything'll Be Made Right" and pedal-to-the-metal vitality of "Slow to Anger" recall the thrill of their run in the '90s. Hell, even trying their hand at some hardcore on "5 Minutes Ahead of the Chaos" actually pays off, though its inclusion on this recording is a little jarring. Where Industry Giants slightly loses its way is in utilizing the vocals of guitarist Brandon Fisher and bassist Tom Pappas, who take the lead for a song a piece. Davis has always been the voice of Superdrag and like they've tried before, anyone else just doesn't cut it. Other than that, Industry Giants is a welcome return. (Superdrag Sound Laboratories)