Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let Us Discuss The Superdrag

When Superdrag reunited to do a few shows a couple of years ago they were selling a fantastic double album of demos at their shows featuring recordings from the early part of their career. It was the kind of extensive and lovingly created release that every fan wants to see from a band they love. The first disc was a wide selection of early demos and recordings, plus a few covers and some 4-track recording by lead singer John Davis. The second disc was a dry run for their debut album, but with a lot of extra songs that wound up on EPs or unreleased.

The really nifty thing about these discs was that they revealed a sizable influence that lurked under the surface for most of Superdrag's career. The thick feedback of many of these early songs shows how much Davis's original vision seemed to be a more melodic version of Dinosaur Jr. If you combine this with the bands most obvious influence, Guided By Voices, you get the big power pop sound that the band parlayed into four fantastic albums (and a decent comeback album).

But the point is, you don't need to know these influences to enjoy the band. I didn't know who Guided By Voices were until Superdrag were already deep into their career. The British influence and huge hooks were what grabbed me in the first place, and it was only later that I connected this to their love for Bob Pollard. Now most of us have heard "Sucked Out" but there are loads of great songs in their arsenal. Hell, I think "Destination Ursa Major" is just as good a single from the first album. They were (and are) a great band who happened to have one big '90s alternative hit.

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