THE 1984 DRAFT – ‘Makes Good Choices’   Leave a comment

From Drayton, Ohio, THE 1984 DRAFT are a band whose style combines American rock with 90’s punk and indie. Their current LP, ‘Makes Good Choices’ is about to be launched. Recorded by Pat Himes (Ryan Adams’ ‘Heartbreaker’). Joe Anderl, its main vocalist and songwriter has a 20 year history of supporting a significant range of globally renowned artists, both as a solo musician and with his band projects.

THE 1984 DRAFT launched their ‘Heisman Trophy Winner’ EP, through Gas Daddy Go! (Ex Guided By Voices drummer Don Thrasher’s boutique label), on November 6th, 2015. They also featured as one of 24 Ohio-based bands, on the 10th anniversary Aquabear Legion double vinyl competition, that same year.

Their EP, ‘Bo Jackson Up The Middle’, was released in 2014, through We Want Action. Both EP’s were produced at Popside Studio, with Micah Carli (ex-Hawthorne Heights guitarist). The latter production launched ahead of an NFL Network documentary, about the actual 1984 NFL Draft, featuring the band. Filmed in their native locality, on January 10th, 2014, broadcast on April 30th, 2014, on the NFL Network, following print and digital publications, in Sports Illustrated, The Omaha World Herald, New Noise Magazine, Ghettoblaster Magazine, etc.

THE 1984 DRAFT comprises: Joe  Anderl, (vocals, guitar), Justin Satinover, (drums), Eli Alban, (guitar), Chip Heck (bass).

Jan Kawolski – Very 90’s indie rock intro, much heavier on the instrumentals than the vocals. Pure riffing, lively, but samey and the vocals are barely audible and need bringing up. Short and sweet.

Lately – Deafening intro, very much in the same indie vein. A little tinny sounding and just a faint hint of group backing vocals. Hard to add any more, but so far, I’m not feeling it. Seems to be a carbon copy of the intro track.

Miss Ohio – This is better. More of a country blues rock emphasis and at least, some of the vocals are audible here. Unfortunately, though, not enough to count on and it just isn’t cutting it. The riffs are just too repetitive and though you can hear some enthusiasm here, it’s lacking substance.

Morrissey Of Mandy’s – Okay drum intro, keeping time well, but there’s a flat tone to the vocals and though there’s some variation in the riffs and they’re obviously eagerly played, nothing stands out and it’s missing that groove.

Honest – Slower pace now, with a more relaxed tone. Again, though, the vocals are distant (though it’s possible that it’s intended in part, for this track). Still, nothing grabs me and it just seems like an extension of the previous tracks. There’s general inconsistency in the audio quality of the individual components. The guitars are too loud, but the vocals are too low and the cymbals often tinny. Balance is required here, plus an injection of life.

Wedding – A better riff opening, initially, moving slightly further into the Brit rock area of the same 90’s era. This time, it’s got a swing to it, providing a bit of catch. Oasis fans might like this. Yet the vocals are still near inaudible, preventing any further assessment. Very brief and leaving an impression of incompletion. Shame, as this track had potential, if only more had been made of it.

Lutheran Heat – Improving slightly. Livelier riff intro’s, but yet again, it may as well be a guitar solo, since that’s really all that’s audible enough. Another wasted opportunity, over before it’s started.

Red Dress – Decent bit of intro riffage, plucky and now employing the quiet/loud dynamic. That makes a difference, when it bursts into life, with the louder sections, but the vocals disappear into the background again. The riffs would probably do a better job alone.

Megaphone – Early 60’s R&R drum intro, followed by some pleasant chords. As before, the vocals vanish into the autumn mists and the accompaniments are turned up way too loud, causing distortion. Hard to even make out any kind of real tune or melody, through the feedback. Ironically titled, really.

Lisbon Falls – Sounds as if this should have been ‘Wedding’, given the church organ intro! Even if it’s not the cheeriest of tunes. The riffs explode into action, in much the same way as before and actually, there’s almost a pleasant cohesion in the choir of voices joining the guitar, but the general sound’s too jarring, jolting and disjointed, to be able to glean much enjoyment from it. It’s evident the guitar’s overcompensating for the imbalance and though in itself, it could be a decent sound, it lacks effort and variety, letting itself down.

Overall – An unfortunate waste of potential, let down by bad production, imbalanced sound and general lack of energy and vitality, shown through repetitive, lacklustre performance, with no discernible variety or USP. Needs a great deal of improvement and much more professional sound production. Disappointing.

4/10 ****

For fans of country rock, bluegrass, blues rock and 90’s indie and Brit rock.

Posted September 19, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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