Two more stoney evenings?
Sadly, there comes a time in this former young man’s life when any interest in drugs might turn more to the side effects of blood pressure medication or statins. So, with this in mind, ‘Stoned Weekend‘, the debut album from Vermont-based, Drug Couple, wasn’t looking too promising. Well, that’ll teach me. Hitting play, ‘Stoned Weekend‘, the inauspiciously titled first track, opens with some woozy tape machine noise, nice reverse-delayed clanging guitars and charmingly loose and rambling bass and drums… so far, and so much better than expected. But it got even better: languid-to-the-point-of-lugubrious Lemonheads Evan Dando-esque vocals; some gorgeous, spacey Kim Deal-style harmonies; more reverb-soaked, slide guitar and clanging acoustic chords… dreamy.
Drug Couple are husband and wife team Miles and Becca Robinson. They used to be a “Brooklyn band” until they moved to the Vermont countryside, got married, found themselves a barn and built a studio. Miles Robinson had previously made some waves in the Brooklyn indie scene about ten years ago with two well-regarded albums before crashing out, disillusioned by the business bits of the music business. Happily, ‘Stoned Weekend‘ is a superb comeback, with the impressive pairing demonstrating a Lemonheads-level of pop sensibility and Dinosaur Jr-grade slacker attitude. In Becca, Miles seems to have found his perfect partner – at least in terms of the music – I wouldn’t be so bold as to speculate on other areas of their relationship.
The slide guitar on the tracks ‘Ben and Bongo‘ and ‘Blue Water‘, and the gentle thrum and honey-sweet vocals of ‘Little Do I Know‘ all have a vague Americana feel, for sure, but it’s a stretch and half to call this an Americana album. ‘Our December’, gallops along like a skuzzy pop classic waiting to happen, with the blissfully fuzzed-out guitar chords even hinting at the majesty of The Wedding Present. On ‘Wyld Chyld’ Becca’s vocal has a dreamy nod to Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. Definitely unAmericana activities.
There you have it, the list of ingredients: Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, et al. Probably not your favourite Americana bands but if, like me, you enjoy that kind of thing, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Drug Couple’s kind of thing.
Pass the Atorvastatin, I’m staying for the weekend.