Ukiah Drag: Crypt Cruiser 12"

Wharf Cat Records


THE UKIAH DRAG'S newest slab is more like a taped-up scrapyard majesty than a slick-prick showboat. The band volleys harder here, with amphetamine-deranged insults to surf rock, dashboard-to-the-face guitars, primitive yet well arranged rock n’ roll with enormous energy, no pretense or foolery. Features scorching cover of The Stooges immortal classic “Dirt.”

Our take: Second 12" from this Rhode Island band, and I have to say it's even better than their already-awesome previous 12". For whatever reason I've always pegged Ukiah Drag as part of the whole Merchandise / Iceage / etc. scene, i.e. bands that sort of transcend punk musically, but still approach indie rock or post-punk or whatever it is that they're playing with an ethos that is very much grounded in DIY punk. Of those bands Ukiah Drag is probably the heaviest, recalling the Stooges-inspired, bluesy dirges of the Birthday Party and the countrified punk poetry of the Gun Club. That's not a surprise if you've heard any of their previous records or seen them live, but they just really nail it on this record... I feel like it's not that tough to jam out on a heavy, simple riff, but it takes skill to make it cohere together into something that feels like a pop song, and Ukiah Drag definitely have that skill. Oh, and speaking of the Stooges, the entire b-side is taken up with a cover of "Dirt," that filters that classic groove through UK's cracked vision of Americana. Highly recommended, particularly if you dug the band's previous work.
Tags: 10s indie melodic post-punk recommended