Rowdy NorthWest rock n rollers DragStrip Riot have finally returned with their sophomore release! Back and blazing with 13 new songs, DAMN! showcases pub rock roots at punk rock speed, some alt-country melodies, and a bit of old school rhythm & blues thrown in to make it danceable. The band is musically tight, complete with crushing rock riffs, slithering bass lines and thundering drums all playing back-up to the soaring vocals, a major component in DragStrip Riot’s appeal. Lead singer Knuck has a thick melodic voice ranging from a snarling Elvis-Danzig combo to 60’s Motown crooning, while bassist Nils Scurvy’s baritone back-ups help to give the band their unique soul-style harmonies. Scurvy even takes a turn on lead vocals, lending his “gargling with glass” rasp to the anthemic “Knife In The Back.”
DragStrip Riot tears through each song with powerful conviction and a heart-stapled-to-sleeve delivery. From songs about loss (Down & Out, Last Chance for Goodbye), scorn (Ruin, See You In Hell, Knife In The Back), love (Troublebound), resignation (A Country Song, In Flames, One Day Closer) and booze (Busy Drinkin’) there’s an honesty to the songs that finds a personal connection with the album’s listeners. On this effort DragStrip Riot offers us a slower blues ballad in “Down & Out (On Saturday Night)” complete with 3 part saxophone harmonies, showing a band that has embraced their musical maturity and built upon it.
Recorded by the legendary Jack Endino (DT’s, Murder City Devils, Zeke, The Supersuckers, Nirvana, Soundgarden) in their hometown of Seattle, this sophomore effort is easily twice as powerful as the band’s first while still retaining their raw edge and their early rock n roll roots influence. Endino’s production (the CD is both mixed and mastered by him) is gigantic and clean without sounding too polished, leaving the guitars sounding thick and gritty with screaming solos, the bass heavy on tone, and the drums sound like they’re being jackhammered. DAMN! has the kind of grooves sure to make people tap their feet or jump right out of their seats. In fact it’s likely the best DAMN! album you’ll hear this year. DragStrip Riot can’t be stopped. Hell… They’re just getting revved up!