In case you haven’t noticed, the early ‘90s are coming back hard these days. Riding that wave, East Van’s own Drawn Ship takes a page out of the Riot Grrrl playbook, and dusts it off for a new jilted generation of kids annoyed by overproduced and manufactured pop.
Reeling after an apparently sour breakup, the slightly flat and sullen voice of Portico’s Lyn Heinemann defines the band’s sound, set over minimal yet forceful drum and guitar instrumentals crafted with percussionist Gregg Steffensen of Hinterland. Other subject matter includes such chipper notions as pedophilia and addiction, drawn from Lyn’s experiences as a counselor in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside, and the murder of Thomas Scott by Métis martyr Louis Riel (Stompin’ Tom and Gordon Downie would be proud of that Canadian history lesson).
Although the sound isn’t all that original, the duo’s commitment to their aesthetic makes it work. Low Domestic derives its power not from flashiness, but honesty. One easily moves past any knee-jerk comparisons to Sleater-Kinney and simply savors Drawn Ship as its own thing.