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Giant Drag

Swan Song EP

(Red Distribution; US: 16 Feb 2010; UK: 16 Feb 2010)

On their thoroughly enjoyable debut LP, Hearts and Unicorns, Giant Drag struck a curious balance. Amid the crunch of fuzzed-out power chords, frontwoman Annie Hardy squealed and squirmed, spewing forth lyrics that were by turns, twisted, sentimental, self-effacing and sexually empowering. Five years worth of label drama and break ups/make ups later, the L.A. two-piece has returned with the meager Swan Song EP. Over the course of four tracks, the band does little more than tread water, offering up no real justification for their decision to soldier on. The slow-burning title track, for instance, aims to evoke the FM dial circa the mid-‘90s but veers uncomfortably close to Bush territory (think “Glycerine”), while Hardy mumbles incoherently over the top. “Stuff to Live For” is more satisfying, musically—it might make you want to dig out your old Veruca Salt LPs—but finds Hardy with little to say, save for the refrain, “I’ve got stuff to live for”. “White Baby” ably summons the guitar tones of Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth but its post-Liz Phair posturing (“I wanna have all your babies”, etc.) feels a bit tired. While other female-fronted indie-rock acts continue to push boundaries—just look at the vibrant, diverse scene that’s currently blossoming in L.A.—Giant Drag seem content to remain stuck in the past.

Rating:

A veteran of many a cold winter, Mehan was born in Montreal and reared in Southeastern Wisconsin. After four years spent earning a degree in Japanese literature at the University of Chicago, he spent a year living in Japan before finally landing in Washington D.C. A technology policy activist by day, Mehan spends his nights listening to, watching, photographing and writing about music. You can visit his personal website at http://www.mehanjayasuriya.com.


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22 Jun 2010
Lead singer and songwriter Annie Hardy weighs in on Giant Drag's return, and how battling the corporate ogre, along with an extended break, has made her stronger and shaped her songs for the better.
14 Sep 2005
Listening to Giant Drag is nowhere near the colossal downer its name implies, but rather one of many joyful ironies surrounding the band's excellent debut.
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