Local Drags is a new project from Starter Jackets members Lanny Durbin and Matt Sailor. The Springfield, IL based duo released a new four track EP under the Local Drags name in October. Titled The Boys Are Still In Town and released by Stardumb Records, it's their second release of the year, following on from their excellent debut LP Shit's Lookin' Up.
The Boys Are Still In Town begins with the song Girls In Denim Jackets. From the outset we are treated to a slice of power pop garage rock. Singer and guitarist Lanny does a superb job of telling a story about a difficult relationship with a girl and how you should watch out for certain types. As you would expect, the song is extremely catchy and I loved the bright, uplifting nature of the chorus despite the downbeat and sad lyrics. Fast Rewind begins with a drum beat that instantly reminded me of the classic Toni Basil song Hey Mickey. When Lanny's vocals come in though we switch to a sugary sweet sounding power pop song that looks at the topic of losing somebody close to you. I sense a theme with Local Drags where they write quite uplifting melodies to go along with some sad and emotional lyrics.
Pins steps away from the uplifting qualities that Local Drags have displayed so far and is a more serious sounding track. It's about bottling things up and not resolving any problems in your relationship, something you probably shouldn't do but many people will relate to. The fact that it is so relatable is a big reason I fell in love with the song. Interestingly, you don't often hear many bands tackle this topic so it is quite refreshing. The final song on The Boys Are Still In Town is named Big Apple, 3 A.M. Despite the EP only being four songs and about ten minutes long, this final track has that big finish feel you would expect on a long album. It's something I always listen out for on releases and it's not something you really find on EPs. I think a reason why the song feels so big is because of the short, sharp structure of the lyrics that make them instantly accessible and easy to sing along with. The track also features some gorgeous harmonies towards its finale that give the song this wonderful extra layer. I'm such a sucker for great harmonies and fantastic pop punk.
This is a great little release from some masters of their craft. If you're a fan of bands such as Masked Intruder, The Copyrights or Squirtgun then I suggest you check out Local Drags.
Stream and download The Boys Are Still In Town here: https://localdrags.bandcamp.com/album/the-boys-are-still-in-town
Like Local Drags here: https://www.facebook.com/localdrags/
This review was written by Colin Clark.