Full White Drag – Everything Will Fall on One Night EP

Full White Drag
Everything Will Fall on One Night EP

There was a time when “post-punk” was synonymous with innovation. This might seem like a facetious statement, but the bands that defined the genre, becoming inextricably linked to the term in our collective music-snob memories – like Fugazi, Wire, Mission of Burma, etc. – are nothing if not inexorably progressive and relentlessly inventive. Nowadays, post-punk has been reduced to a nearly absurd term, a descriptor applied to creatively bankrupt cover bands and used by musicians looking to lend credibility to their otherwise milquetoast endeavors. And while the former doesn’t necessarily apply to self-described post-punk band Full White Drag, I can’t help but feel that the latter is more than appropriate.

Everything Will Fall on One Night begins promisingly enough, with opening track “No Fire” bursting out of the gates with a dual-guitar intro reminiscent of DC’s Jawbox. But the track soon turns into a muddy, distorted mess, sounding like the aural equivalent of a fuzzy post-hangover haze – throbbing, indistinct, and mildly painful. The rest of the EP follows a similar pattern, each track beginning distinctly enough but inevitably falling victim to the same mechanics that plague the first song. “Great St. Clair” and “Art Beaudrie” are particularly disappointing: the former begins with a nervous, stuttering guitar and the latter has a wonderful, swirling My Bloody Valentine-esque intro, but each eventually gives way to the same plodding tempo and formulaic guitar work.

Instrumentally, the band is proficient and the compositions are competent and well-written. Guitarists Dave Mueller and Mathew Fields play off of each other nicely, and the workmanlike rhythm section (composed of Matthew Baker on bass and Michael Perica on drums) is tight and precise. The biggest offender in each track is Mueller’s vocals; his gravelly, monotone delivery eventually grates on the nerves. The man speaks more than he sings, often sounding like a bored punk rocker at a poetry reading gone horribly awry. While this type of delivery might be okay for a song or two, it becomes awfully annoying over the course of five tracks, and it is a principal factor as to why each song remains indistinguishable from the others.

Everything Will Fall on One Night isn’t awful, per se – far from it. It’s just that the EP is almost overwhelmingly average. There is nothing in particular that makes this band stick out from the crowded post-punk field, and the songs share a depressing similarity that causes the album to sound like one long 17-minute track. It’s a shame; Full White Drag would be quite promising if the band varied the tempos or injected more melody into the vocals. As it stands, the band is merely mediocre.