Batter the Drag
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Batter the Drag


Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Batter the Drag"

Batter the Drag (a hip '50s term for playing music on the street) oozes originality. BTD succeeds because it knows when to say when -- dissonant chord arrangements, oddly satisfying harmonies, and jagged rhythm changes are all executed with enough technical deftness to make musicians in the crowd grin while not alienating the average listener. So, what do you call it? Crowd-pleasing math grunge? Throbbing alterna-power gristle? A blessing? Whatever the case, songs on the band's new CD The Big Sleep, like "Ridin' the Fishtail" and "Backmask Facelift," crash with the heaviness of Voivod and Black Flag while pulsing with the off-kilter pop appeal of Samiam. For bands out there still confused about what's unclassifiable, here's a tip -- check out Batter the Drag for being different in all the right ways.” - Casey Lynch, Phoenix New Times - Phoenix New Times

"Tough Habit"

“Richardson sings in a rich, commanding tenor -- his lyrics mingle cryptic word play and surreal, poetic imagery -- but sometimes he unleashes a sharp roar to match moments of feverish guitar. Song structures flow unpredictably, alternating between a full, heavy guitar sound and unadorned but complex guitar melodies, as in "Firewater Allergy" and "Remorse Code." In some instances, such as "Counting Backwards From One," both guitars play on their own while the animated bass flits around with an independent melody. And all throughout, drums assert the songs' character by building emotional climaxes or breaking away with cheeky improvisations.” - Michele Laudig, Phoenix New Times - Phoenix New Times

"Album Review"

“Batter The Drag's energy is contagious. Each song...prickles with dynamism and controlled aggression.” - Drawer B - Drawer B


Unfathomable Depths (EP released 2005)
The Big Sleep (LP released 2006)



Batter the Drag originally began as the side project of three recently deceased bands Rondo Vega, Justin Bailey, and Jedi Five. The original members Ryan Richardson, Jeff Ruoss, Wes Volkman, and Jarod Crawford were simply looking to write music that they couldn’t in their other respective bands. Jeff had drawn inspiration from artists such as Dillinger Escape Plan, Shiner, Fugazi, Hum, while Ryan had written music much in the same vein as Jawbreaker, Jawbox, Drive Like Jehu, and Sonic Youth. Wes had come from the school of bass lead bands such as Primus, Rush, The Police, and Jarod had built a reputation in the Arizona punk scene as a top notch drummer. You’d think that with all the different styles being represented, it would be difficult to write anything between these four. You’re right. Writing anything in Batter the Drag is extremely difficult, given their strong personalities. In the end, however, they’re perfectly matched for one another.

Jeff, the bands primary song writer in their infancy, had already written ten songs that they could build upon. The songs were fast, complicated, and constantly changing. After months of practice and rehearsing, the band had created and built an original set of songs that would become their first EP, Unfathomable Depths. Batter the Drag’s first official show drew over two thousand people to their home, now infamously named The Higley Ranch. Shortly after Batter the Drag had completed their amazing set, police had been called to the overcrowded scene and worked aggressively to disperse the crowd.

Chad Martin joined Batter the Drag to fill the vacant drum position shortly thereafter, and the band began touring locally to help pay for their first recording. The bands first EP, Unfathomable Depths, was recorded at Flying Blanket Studios, and produced by Bob Hoag and Batter the Drag. Batter the Drag received very positive responses after their release. One quote that stuck with the group came directly from the Phoenix New Times, “For bands out there still confused about what's unclassifiable, here's a tip, check out Batter the Drag for being different in all the right ways". Shortly after the release of Unfathomable Depths in early 2005, the band booked and completed their first tour through California, all while continuing to play shows throughout Arizona.

Despite the bands growing fanbase, in the spring of 2005 Wes Volkman decided to leave the band in order to attend business school on the east coast. Mike Dunford quickly rose to the challenge of taking over bass duties for the recently departed Volkman, and the band continued to tour locally. The band recorded their follow up album, The Big Sleep, in late 2005. The album was recorded at Room Sound (formerly The Panic Button), produced by Jamie Woolford (LET GO) and Batter the Drag, and was released on Satiated Records in 2006.

Arizona’s Batter the Drag is Ryan Matthew Richardson (RONDO VEGA vocals/guitar), Jeff Ruoss (WORSER guitar/vocals), Michael Dunford (PRINCESS LADYFRIEND bass), and Chad Martin (PEZZ, FIVESPEED drum kit).