Drafting – Everything is Coming Up

6.8.22 by Matty McPherson

I got a tip that slowcore-music–of sorts is alive and well down in Louisville, KY; this shouldn’t exactly be a surprise considering “Louisville,” the entity, is thanked within the liner notes of Codeine’s The White Birch. It’s a thought and ethos confirmed so with Drafting’s five-song slugger Everything Is Coming Up. It took a moment for it to arrive from the Boston, MA based Candlepin Records, a new tape startup eagerly stocking esoteric guitar fuzz and DIY oddities. The Drafting trio fit snuggly next to Poorly Drawn House and Auto-Pilot’s basement worlds, artists also plopped on the roster. Anyways, it’s been sitting in my pile for a bit and I still find myself teasing it out every month or so.

Their twenty-one minutes are concise, minimal executions of the slowcore contextual playbook. It was not immediately apparent with opener, the Rescue, and its folksy “dead orbit” twang and quiet-sludgy’n’loud-quiet fuzz. On the first listen I wondered if the band was doing straight Numero worship or if they are the bar rock band that saves a bar from having to go on Bar Rescue? Track two, Ordinary, teases an answer to this question, erring closer to bar rock than anything else here. Yet, even so it twiddles with its phaser and pedals more than anything else on this tape. Chasing the Clouds has the brevity to evade that path, letting lean, clean skeletal riffs wind down to a communal throwdown as the trio all throw hands on the microphone. It’s at about THAT point I started to be completely floored by the proof-of-concept being put out here. I know these sounds, malleable enough to be codified and adapted to how they see fit. Drafting does the sound service though by regionalizing it with their own small quirks, while also just playing it clean and efficiently it draws one in should they love this sound.

It’s what rewards those last two tracks where the risks seem a little tighter even as the sound is easily markable. Sleeptalker emphasizes the Louisville twang sound, in an almost-Bedhead fashion. It might as well take place from the same liferaft as Whatfunlifewas, with a similar warming guitar sound framing the affair. However, lyrical and composition suggest Seam, with a devious syncopation between guitar, cymbal, and verse often coming to the forefront and knocking all assumptions away. Pillow meanwhile meets between classic simmering builds of MX-80 Sound and bitter fuzz garage chorus of Bitch Magnet. It’s almost ghostly when its not fiery.

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