“AMERICA’s LEAST KNOWN POWER POP SENSATION”.
That is the way Local Drags likes to be characterized.
It’s more than just a fun slogan.
The Sweet Sweet Music blog editors search all day for new Power Pop pearls but ‘Shit’s Looking Up’, the previous record, from 2019, by the band around Lanny Durbin, was only recently discovered.
And listening to that record is still a ‘Sensation’. It really is.
Catchy, trashy, swagger. I would use these three words if I had to describe the sound of Local Drags in, well, three words.
On March 12, 2021 ‘KEEP ME GLUED’ will be released, which will be released on Stardumb Records.
Sweet Sweet Music spoke to Lanny Durbin.
How did this record come together?
Same way as always – just worked on songs until I had enough good ones/okay ones. Realized after a while they all had a similar vibe, and I liked that vibe, so I went with it. Hummed them for a while in my head at work, made some demos, showed Carter and Fred, recorded them at Luke’s house, sent them to Stefan, he liked them, he put them out, you hear them now!
The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?
People hearing it and vibing with it, get something out of the tunes, maybe see where I’m coming from. That’s it really. Friends saying they like it and actually MEAN it is a big one. You can tell when they’re just being nice and when they’re actually surprised their dumb friend made a cool song. Other musicians I respect throwing it a like on Instagram. I’m very easy to please. All I wanted when I was a kid was to be able to say, man, this is my record. That’ll do!
Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
It’s so easy to record. Getting it heard is simple now too, but getting it heard by the amount of people you’d like/your ego thinks you deserve is the hard part.
Cassettes are back. Which 5 five songs would make your first mixtape?
Oh man. I’m doin’ five for each side, sue me.
Gin Blossoms – “Till I Hear it from You”
Tom Petty – “Change of Heart”
Dinosaur Jr – “Knocked Around”
Lost Balloons – “Paint”
SiR – “John Redcorn”
Rolling Stones – “Rocks Off”
The National – “Don’t Swallow the Cap”
Jesus and Mary Chain – “Head On”
Uncle Tupelo – “Steal the Crumbs”
Dire Straits – “Walk of Life”
Recording music. What’s all the fun about?
It’s my favorite part of this whole thing. Seeing an idea through to the end product is so much fun, especially when it turns out to be about as good as you expected. Messing around with guitar effects, adding samples for fun, ironing kinks out. Really has made me a better singer and player, hearing the take back and hearing what sucked about it. Hurts your feelings the first time but it’s worth it.
Shows can be fun but the dud shows I do not miss, and I’m not liked enough to consistently play good ones, so I’m cool without them. Honestly, second to recording, I just enjoy practicing the most. Few beers with the boys in the garage like when we were kids, bashing out a tune. Should just start a cover band, I guess.
From Springfield, Illinois, Local Drags on this outing consists of songwriter Lanny Durbin plus Carter Bibb and Fred Malcom. Being three quarters of their other band Starter Jackets, Local Drags shares some DNA, though what was born is a more laid back and stripped out thing.
Following up their 2019 debut ‘Shit’s Lookin’ Up’, ‘Keep Me Glued’ is the band’s sophomore outing.
Sonically, the record moves like Whatever Pop – loud and quick but still very chill. The songs share an overarching theme of finding something good to hang onto in a real drag of a time, keeping it together however you gotta do it. Like the energy of the hours after blasting out of work on Friday and before the exhaustion takes you over. The sound brings to mind garage-esque indie rock in the Replacements, Gin Blossoms, or Teenage Fanclub veins filtered through Dirtnap-style American power pop/punk.
The album got recorded and produced by Luke McNeill (The Copyrights, Starter Jackets, Hospital Job) at his Capitol City Recording studio.