Friday, May 1, 2015

the Ukiah Drag : "In the Reaper's Quarters"

Having crawled out from the same Florida scene as Merchandise the band continues to create twisted soundtracks to the under belly of trailer park life. At least that is what I hear when I listen to them.Up until this point I have always like what I have heard by these guys and like their side projects even more so it was time to sit down and digest this album.The first song almost has a blues ridden and acid drenched The Doors boogie , while the psyche smokes out the post- punk more often than not creating a hill billy Butthole Surfers shuffle. This is a unique sound and while it might be darker than crunchy hippy psychedelic it's not dark enough to get tagged with death rock like I have seen on some blogs.

They do color things a slight shade darker with the bass line of "Final Prayer" and it does have a slight funereal creep to it but his vocals keep it far from any thing gothy with the exception of maybe the rowdiness of the Birthday Party, but without any bats being released. At times the vocals of lead singer ZZ Ramiriez bring Mudhoney to mind. They stay in a similar shade but with a more dramatic touch to it on " Drip From the Fang" . A lower vocal, my girl friend refers to as "the voice" which is any baritone that does a variation of Ian Curtis makes an appearance on this song to off the more Seattle trailer park vocal that tends to be the predominate voice expressed on this album. The lower voice begins to take over some times adhering to things like staying in key some times not so much. The cover of Lee Hazelwood's balled "Wait and See" is not bad , but it doesn't really bring as much to the table as some of the other songs.

They close the album out with "Night of Immaculacy" which lingers in it's noisy intro in a drone before a more Iggy Popish vocal wrestles against the Mudhoney tendencies while reciting lyrics at a Jim Morrison pace. For some reason King Missile comes to mind on this song even though its darker than what that blast from the 90s did. At the three and a half minute mark I am wondering how they are going to hold my attention by beating this into me. The answer is they start kicking up noise at the five and a half minute mark. I'll give this album and 8, these guys are doing just the right drugs to keep it interesting and though they do use "the voice" they stay clear of some of the other post-rock cliches.

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