Thursday, July 19, 2007

Superdrag Reuniting

That's right, the original Superdrag lineup of John Davis, Brandon Fisher, Tom Pappas, and Don Coffey Jr. are reuniting for a 6-city tour beginning October 5 in Nashville. For those that missed them the first time around, this may be your last chance to catch a truly overlooked rock gem. They are the cynical bastard sons of Hüsker Dü and the Beatles, blending Davis' melodic vocals with enough fuzz and noise to concoct a sound that assaults your senses and leave you with a sweet aftertaste.

I arrived in Knoxville, TN in January 1994 with an ice storm in tow. As soon as I began to thaw, I started sniffing out the local music scene. One of the first names I heard was that of Superdrag. The buzz about this unknown group was rivaled only by the impending arrival of the son of QB great Archie Manning, an apparent quarterback prodigy. A few days later I won tickets from a local radio station to see Superdrag perform at the now defunct Mercury Theater in what was a label showcase. I was blown away immediately. Local bands weren’t supposed to be this polished. Just so I am clear, I don’t mean polished in an antiseptic way. They were loud and they were noisy, but their fury was tempered by incredible melodies. The songs were scornful and sardonic, but delivered with a vulnerability that few artists can convey.

Regretfully YoursThey were soon signed to a major label and their debut album, Regretfully Yours, spawned the hit single “Sucked Out,” which became a staple of MTV (insert obligatory comment on MTV once playing music videos) and radio. Unfortunately, this was the peak of their commercial success. They released several more records before quietly disbanding after 2002's Last Call For Vitriol. While they certainly qualify as “One Hit Wonders” in the literal sense; that does not mean that they did not turn out quality work even after their 15 minutes were up. The same qualities that made them a rising name were just as evident on 1998’s Head Trip in Every Key and 2000’s In the Valley of Dying Stars.

The songs below are just a sample of the different periods of their career.

Bloody Hell (mp3) from a 1994 Knoxville local scene compilation
Señorita (mp3) from the 1999 EP by the same name
Nothing Good Is Real (mp3) from the Señorita EP
Sold You An Alibi (mp3) from 1998’s Head Trip in Every Key
Gimme Animosity (mp3) from 2000’s In the Valley of Dying Stars

The full tour itinerary is as follows:

October 5 - Nashville, TN @ City Hall (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
October 13 - Chicago, IL @ Metro (Tickets on sale Sat, July 28)
October 20 - Knoxville, TN @ Barley's Taproom (Tickets on sale NOW)
November 2 -New York, NY @ The Fillmore (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
November 3 - Boston, MA @ Paradise (Tickets on sale Fri, Aug 3)
November 8 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (Tickets on sale Thur, July 26)