[sic] Magazine

Warm Drag – S/T

Early social media site Friends Reunited solved many an absent-minded wonder about what ever happened to so-and-so from way back when. Facebook ensured you need never wonder ever again. Amongst other things Discogs, just in case by some miracle you didn’t know, goes someway to doing the same thing in the music sphere by tracking an artist down and finding out whatever they’re up to these days, but – at least not to our knowledge – you can’t yet choose to follow someone and get updates whenever they launch a new project. We’ll want royalties when this feature is ultimately developed, but until then it’s only natural that from time to time you’ll fail to keep tabs on a former favourite so it’s pleasing whenever your paths once again do cross unexpectedly. Cue the now LA-based duo Warm Drag, who feature the ever-exhilarating Golden Triangle and K-Holes singer Vashti Windish, as well as MPC-sampling percussionist Paul Quattrone of various an outfit, including the current Oh Sees line-up and that of !!!.

A welcome resurfacing then, together Windish and Quattrone’s S/T debut is a seedy exploration of what goes on when the sun goes down. Leading you straight to the wrong side of the tracks, it’s a dangerously alluring concoction indeed. A veritable tour of sweaty, indie dive clubs where there’s a reason the lights are barely on, Windish is sultry to the extreme, beckoning you onto the rocks with a silken touch, going straight for the jugular too when Quattrone’s sharp synths begin to stab their way through the gloom. The filthy electro-rock that ensues twangs under the brooding skies of alt-country in places and houses the high drama of rockabilly and slo-mo surf motifs elsewhere. Everything treated to huge delay, it all comes masked in a psychedelic mid-fi haze as well.

A buzzed-out bottom end gouges out a groove on atmosphere opener “The Wanderer”, for example, a trashy beat throbbing away like Stressed Eric’s temple threatening to dominate. One of many climaxes, two-minute blaster “No Body” later locks on hard, turning in a 100-mph churn of shiveringly cool melodic noise-pop. Bleary-eyed oddities around every corner, “Sleepover” starts in haunting dream-pop as its rather gross real-life tale of the death and decomposition of Quattrone’s summer subletter begins to develop, the lullaby becoming a nightmare to the sound of heavy space-noise at its close. The album finishes with Quattrone going all Dirty Beaches with his drum machine, an organ choking in a nuclear smog, Windish’s ghostly moan chasing the beat over dystopian nightscapes. Double check the doors are locked before you go to bed tonight. This one’s looking for trouble.

Best track: “No Body”

~Warm Drag is released 14th September 2018 via In The Red.~