Full White Drag – The Independence

Full White Drag
The Independence

It seems that a recent trend in independent music has been a strong push towards the pop-punk/emo world. Due to the success of groups like the Get Up Kids and New Found Glory, mainstream audiences have started to catch on to this toe-tapping genre, and, in turn, local shopping malls have been stocking their shelves full. Even labels predominantly known for other styles of music have taken the opportunity to delve into this market; hoping to make a few bucks along the way. However, like any other trend, this is beginning to wear down. As usual, the original fans of this style have grown weary of the same melodies, riffs, and overtures. They hunger for something different; something unique.
While fads like these constantly occur, bands that stay true to themselves tend to weather the storms a bit better than those who compromise their original intentions. Though these groups may not be overnight millionaires, they also will not be a here-today, gone-tomorrow laughing stock.
Case in point – Full White Drag. These Canadian fellows, Windsor, Ontario’s best kept musical secret, take the label of “post-punk” and turn it on its ear. Though their brand of rock is akin to predecessors like Jawbox and Fugazi, they instill a flair for song writing and an instrumental enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen from this genre in some time. Though they could use a smidgen of fine-tuning, this new release is bound to build ample buzz for them during their period of transition.
One of the aspects that separates Full White Drag from the rest in their particular pack is their laid-back vocalization. For the most part, the lyrics are “talked out” rather than sung; however, this flows nicely into the pattern that the band has set up. Though one could make the case that the band could stand to incorporate a bit more melody, the gritty vocal dynamic that they have created just adds texture to the overall sound. Music obviously comes first with these guys, and they represent this belief by allowing the vocals to fall into place as another cog in the wheel.
The group’s main strength is their ability to build long, dynamic instrumental journeys into soulful, genre-bending slabs of song. For instance, “Anthem for Starlit Kids” is a chunky, rhythm induced rocker that helps kick the record off memorably. The instruments are all in top form – especially the guitars, which freely meander between light and thunderous.
Tracks like “The Meaning Of” offer a marching, entrancing percussive style that owes a bit to jazz. At the same time, the bass and guitars free float between diverse verses and cohesive choruses. Each player in the group has an uncanny ability to change pace at the drop of a dime-providing some interesting twists and turns throughout the record.
So, while the Blink 182 sound-a-likes may be living in the sun at the moment, a cloud cover could hover over them at any time. Once people grow tired of the typical, they will, again, scour the Earth for bands that offer something different. If Full White Drag continues at their present pace, they could become genre leaders.