Drastic Andrew – State Of Denial (Frogville Records)
Drastic Andrew are an interesting proposition, as they claim to mix “oblique elements of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Band, Talking Heads, the 90's, Cracker and Radiohead, Black Keys, as well as Bluegrass and classic country influences”. That’s quite a combination of contrasting influences, but listening to “State Of Denial”, the band’s second album for Frogville, it kind of makes sense, insofar they’re rootsy and country-ish, but with a distinct progressive, indie pop streak. I suppose, if a comparison is to be made, Wilco seem the obvious candidates, but there’s something easier about Drastic Andrew, that’s very likeable.
Led by singer-songwriter Andrew MacLauchlan, the Santa Fe based quintet nail their colours to the mast with a collection of songs that delve into various themes, from social injustice and the environment, to love and relationships. It’s a range of subjects that songwriters are prone to explore, so it’s to MacLauchlan’s credit that he brings something new and original to the table. “State Of Denial” begins with “Why Is the Sky”, which sounds like it might have its lyrical roots in the ‘60s Greenwich Village scene, but a full production and ambitious arrangement transcends its folk intimations. The horns on “Wolfgang Fischer” work brilliantly with Ben Wright’s lead guitar and Kevin Zoernig jazzy keyboard runs, and the country styling of “Just a Man” brings instant contrast.