First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2004, Volume 11, #5
Written by John Metzger
When listening to The Drapes’ sophomore effort Swollen, one is immediately transported back to 1991, a time before bands like Bush, Silverchair, and Candlebox smoothed out the rough and rowdy edges of Nirvana’s angst-ridden roar and turned it into generic mush. Indeed, the raw, edgy vocals as well as the screeching, crash-and-burn guitar of frontman Kevin McDonough bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Kurt Cobain, and the thrashing, adrenaline-soaked rhythms laid down by bass player Andrea Jablonski and drummer Bob Spellbring cast a mosh-ready vibe upon the proceedings. Virtually the entire ten-song, 34-minute set is comprised of gritty, blues-oriented, garage rock delivered with a punk ethos — the sort of thing that was defined by The Pixies and reinvented by Nirvana — and though The Drapes does little to alter this basic formula, the sheer intensity of its performance makes Swollen worth a listen.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box