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Drawn Ship

Low Domestic

(Scratch; US: 6 Sep 2011; UK: 13 Sep 2012)

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.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


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