CD Review: Drug Rug / Paint The Fence Invisible
Drug Rug Rating:
Paint The Fence Invisible
Reviewed by: Sally Feller
Drug Rug, based in Cambridge, MA, is a sweet throwback to 60s grooves with a bit of indie rock edge. There are tambourines and unfiltered guitar mixed with intriguing vocals by Sarah Cronin and Thomas Allen. When listening to it, you feel like you should have incense burning, be smoking…um…hookah, and wearing some sort of shapeless shift. They’re not straight-up 60s and you won’t feel like you’ve heard it before, but if I were forced to compare them with what you might already know, I’d suggest maybe The Animals vs. Rufus Wainwright vs. Velvet Underground. Have a listen and make your own comparisons.
These two met at the glorious Middle East Club in Cambridge, the very same venue where I saw some of their show last week. Both were working at the live music club and “spent their first date drinking whiskey in bed and playing each other songs on an old guitar,” presumably wearing the shapeless shifts mentioned earlier and coming up with hilarious band names.
The most recent album from Drug Rug is “Paint the Fence Invisible” and it’s one of those records that takes you on a really nice journey without jarring you out of you’re doing. That’s not to say it’s Enya-background-music, but it doesn’t, as Stewie Griffin would brilliantly state, “It doesn’t insist upon itself.” Cronin’s vocals are different enough to set it apart from the crowd. “Hannah Please” specifically rocks out and allows the vocals to shine on their own, she has sort of a punk/folk/indie rock sound, but you really have to experience the richness of her voice to fully appreciate it. Chill, upbeat tambourine and percussion beats pull the listener along for the ride the whole way through ”Paint the Fence Invisible.” You get a sense of that same carefree fun-loving feeling you’d get listening to some classic Marvin Gaye, but with more folk and less soul.
The song “Noah Rules” has a haunting quality to it. With a really simple rift and harmonized, echoing vocals push the listener along on a rather eerie ride through, perhaps, a shattered New Orleans or a creepy haunted cottage in Britain, unsettling guitar squeals jump in to further the unsettling feeling. You might feel like you’re listening to an old record in your grandma’s attic until the electronic sounds reverberate through your brain and make you glance around yourself so quickly you embarrass yourself for acting like a little kid. Another killer song on the album is “Sooner the Better,” which is reminiscent of Neko Case but with a catchier beat that you can shake your hips to. If you’re looking for a low-key party song that’ll make you look like a hipster, this is the one to play/download!
If it sounds as if I’ve been trying to categorize Drug Rug for this entire review, you’d be right. I’d say in this crazy current world we’re living in, we could all do with some happy, chill 60s grooves in our lives. Pick up a copy of “Paint the Fence Invisible” as soon as you can get your hands on it. It’s available for download at iTunes and, Bostonians, you can pick up a copy at your nearest Newbury Comics!
For more info on Drug Rug visit them on MySpace