Download “Medicine” [mp3]
The Fort Collins, Colorado-based Drag the River are rooted in punk–their songwriters are Jon Snodgrass of Armchair Martian and Chad Price of the post-Descendants group All–yet their sound is much subtler than one might expect. The country rock on Closed, the follow-up to their 2000 debut Hobo’s Demos, is not aggressive or all-out roaring as much as it is hard-driving and confessional. Zach Boddicker paints steel-guitar stripes on steady-rolling roots-rock cuts (“Medicine,” “Song for Robin Reichhardt”) and downtempo cautionary tales (“Smokefinger”). Elsewhere, the quintet devotes equal time to speedy shuffles (the loser’s anthem “Get Drunk”) and barroom weepers (“Forgiveness”).
–Anders Smith Lindall
“Closed” is arguably Drag the River’s best album. The anthem “Get Drunk” is the band’s most requested song and the album has become an essential soundtrack for drunks all over the world.