Draag is a shoegaze/indie rock five-piece from Los Angeles. They say that they’re influenced some by Fugazi, but mostly by the seminal noise/shoegaze bands from the Creation Records roster. Namely, the Valentines, the Mary Chain, and Primal Scream. The band formed in the autumn of 2013 as a solo project for Adrian Acosta. After he started writing an album, he recruited four others to join, and in March of 2014, they released the self-titled album. They’re being hailed as one of the best new Los Angeles bands, and they’ve got a very good EP slated for release on January 27.
Several weeks ago, I got something in the mail bag about the forthcoming EP, and then a couple of follow-ups. I’ve listened to the songs several times, and I’m pretty excited about the EP. I can also hear some influence from some American bands of that same golden age of college radio, and what we used to call, simply, “alternative rock”. In some of the seven songs on Traci Lordz, I hear some Dinosaur Jr influence. Specifically, there’s a guitar solo in the second half of the song “Janet” that sounds like something J Mascis would play. In other songs, including today’s song, I hear a little bit of Velocity Girl.
This is that song:
“Lavender Hole” by Draag
It’s the jangle fuzz and the way Jessica Huang’s vocals are recorded — slightly distant, little bit of reverb, but very bright and big– that reminds me of Sarah Shannon from Velocity Girl. And oh. The pedal stomping. I’m always a sucker for the massive and sudden quiet/loud/quiet shift within a song. Velocity Girl had a lot of that going on, especially on their essential 1993 album Copacetic. Yes. That album is essential.
There’s also a bit that I love which happens at about the 4:30 mark. During the coda, it seems like it’s a standard wind-down and fade out, but right there at 4:30, the volume swells a bit, which makes it a little different. The first two or three times I listened to it, I thought I had accidentally pressed the “volume up” button, and it really did fool me each time. I like that.
The rest of the EP is very good, and if you like this, you won’t be disappointed. I don’t know which formats Traci Lordz will be released in, or even if there will be a physical release at all. I do know that it’ll be out on January 27. As of right now, they don’t have any pre-order details, which makes me think that it’s digital only. I’ll assume that they’ll be selling it via their own bandcamp page. You can, by the way, grab a download of their self-titled album by naming your own price here.
For extra credit, here’s a video montage of the band playing this song live: