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Friday, March 14 • 1:00am - 1:30am
The Drams

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BIO The Drams Jubilee Dive Release date July 25, 2006 Jam packed with brawny, spirited, hands-in-the-air rockers, stirring anthems and harrowing ventures exploring a culture sapped by hollow heroes and soul-killing, high-tech crapola, The Drams careen out of Texas with Jubilee Dive—a welcome jolt of rockyroll that is fresh and vital even as it flaunts an effortless command of time-tested rock maneuvers. Fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Brent Best, The Drams’ lineup merges lead guitarist Jess Barr and drummer Tony Harper (from Best’s long-running, alt-everything mavericks, Slobberbone) with singer/keyboardist Chad Stockslager and singer/bassist Keith Killoren (both from Dallas’ Budapest One), and while fans of Best’s previous work won’t be thrown completely for a loop, The Drams’ soaring vocal harmonies, expanded instrumental range and ebullient, hook-laden rock’n’pop adventurousness have taken it all to a new, invigorating level. Best readily acknowledges that Stockslager and Killoren’s vocal capabilities—along with the former’s sterling work on keys—have greatly extended his artist’s palette and enabled him to demonstrate finesse and subtlety in ways he’d previously only dreamt about. The Drams “The real upside is having people who can sing our sound with me,” he states, “and just finally being able to touch upon all the things I’ve always wanted to touch upon, but never really had all the resources to make it happen.” Produced by Matt Pence (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Jubilee Dive is an ambitious, 14-song tour-de-force that jumps out of the gate with “The Truth Lies Low,” an outwardly up-beat, Trojan horse of a raver that aims a scathing diatribe at a society which has allowed its individuality and creativity to be co-opted by bells-and-whistles technology and lemming-like consumerism. “I was trying, on the whole, to make this a lighter, more hopeful album,” Best confesses, laughing. “But to me, we live in a time when people have just gotten so used to bullshit on every level that you can spew utter bullshit—and be called on it!—and then just go, ‘well, here’s the next bullshit,’ and somehow, that’s okay.” But bullshit doesn’t play here: The Drams are drilling for the jugular with no punches pulled. Fueled by blistering guitars, a swirling organ figure and a killer tandem vocal track, the celebratory “Hummalong” counsels being true to one’s vision(s)—yet another recurring theme of Jubilee Dive. “Holy Moses” is a gorgeous, languid prayer for redemption that conjures a dreamy Jayhawks/Band/Abbey Road collision; “Unhinged” is a Saturday night party cheerleader, and “Fireflies” is a cool border/tango hybrid reminder to appreciate life’s simple, yet life-affirming, pleasures. Throughout, Best repeatedly addresses ennui, the pressure to surrender to senses-dulling routine and the need for regular stock-taking to keep track of one’s True Self amid a squirrel-cage existence. The Jules Shear-meets-The Beatles “September’s High” is just such a wake-up call, as is the sunny, Sixties-era California psychedelic pop suite of “You Won’t Forget”. Jubilee Dive’s nearly-70-minute length flies in the face of a trend for shorter albums, yet Best’s enormous accumulated backlog of top-shelf material awaiting a band capable of fully-realizing its multiple textures/possibilities simply over-ran prudence. Add to that the uncanny, naturally-flowing tracking of this masterful song cycle, and it’s virtually impossible to find even one cut that not only doesn’t belong here, but that doesn’t belong exactly where it is. “That was it, ya know?” Best reflects. “Everything still made sense, so we went with it. I knew we were pushing the time thing, but I really wanted to keep the arc of the story line.” The astonishingly uplifting underdog anthem “Shortsighted” is a stone marvel—and might well have been the perfect closer for a lesser disc, but The Drams were still holding 20-plus minutes of powerhouse rock in their hands. “Crudely Drawn” is a giddy, closing-time rave-up, “Make A Book” is a meaty, blue-collar populist rocker with a vintage, Thin Lizzy buzz, and “Des Moines” is a haunting, lonely, band-on-the-road heartbreaker. Jubilee Dive rolls out with the quietly disturbing “Wonderous Life,” a blurry, biting, visceral stream-of-consciousness examination of alcoholic fog reeking of Bukowski/Burroughs horrors set in an ironically stately backdrop. “My favorite songs are the ones that write themselves,” says Best. “I remember writing it and kind of waiting for the hook—you know, the thing that kept it from being too literal—and I don’t know that it ever came for me. But that’s kind of where, for me, this song has its power…” So there you have it…The Drams’ Jubilee Dive. Crack it open, toss it on yer music box and be prepared to surrender to a band whose time has come—and not a moment too soon. -- Jim Musser, April 2006
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/68693.html

Friday March 14, 2008 1:00am - 1:30am
18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn 500 N IH 35

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