National Drag
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National Drag

| INDIE

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"ChicagoGigs.com"

THIS EP MIXES THE BEST OF SO-CALLED INDIE ROCK FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE POND. WITH WRY, SELF-DEPRECIATING LYRICS AND POPPY MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS, THE BAND SOUNDS LIKE A BELIEVABLE CROSS BETWEEN WEEZER AND SUEDE, WITH A LITTLE ELVIS COSTELLO THROWN IN FOR GOOD MEASURE. THE BAND'S INFLUENCES, HOWEVER, LIE HEAVILY IN THE PAST. THE FLAVOR OF THE KINKS IS DETECTABLE HERE, BUT THE INTELLIGENT MELODIES AND JANGLE-Y TUNES ARE DISTINCTLY BEATLES. THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE SONGS, THOUGH, IS THAT WHILE ROOTED IN THE BRITISH INVASION AND FLOWERING IN GARDEN OF GREAT AMERICAN INDIE ROCK, NATIONAL DRAG SOMEHOW COME OUT WITH A SOUND ALL THEIR OWN.

THE STANDOUT TRACK ON THIS EP, THINGS AREN'T GOING MY WAY ANYMORE, IS A WELL-CRAFTED POP TUNE ABOUT THE END OF A RELATIONSHIP. IT HAS A MELODY LIKE ONE OF THOSE PAINFULLY BEAUTIFUL MORRISSEY TUNES, BUT WITHOUT THE HOLLOW VOCALS. IMAGINE THE BEACH BOYS COVERING A SMITHS SONG. EVEN THE SIMPLEST SONG ON THE EP, A TWO-MINUTE DITTY CALLED, SHE DOESN'T WANT TO DANCE WITH ME, IS A SCORCHER.

APPROPRIATELY, MOST OF THE SONGS ARE ABOUT LOVE AND JILTED LOVE, BUT DRUMMER LOCAL G KEEPS THE PACE UPBEAT AND HAPPY. IT'S THAT IRONY WHICH KEEPS THE EP INTERESTING AND WARRANTS REPEATED LISTENING.

THIS BAND IS TRULY TALENTED, AND COMING FROM A LABEL THAT ALSO HOUSES TALENTED CHICAGO ROCK OUTFITS THE WES HOLLYWOOD SHOW AND THE TURNSTILES, IS ONE PROMISING ACT THAT IS NOT TO BE MISSED.
- Katherine Raz


"Trailblazer On-Line"

FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOSTALGIC FOR THE BEATLES, YET STILL LOVE THE POP MUSIC OF TODAY, YOUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED. AND YOUR POP-MESSIAHS ARE JIMMY DRAG AND F. SCOTT NATIONAL.

DRAG AND NATIONAL, TEAMED WITH DRUMMER LOCAL G., HAS PUT TOGETHER ONE OF THE MOST DISTINCTIVE SOUNDS SINCE THE FAB-FOUR THEMSELVES, AND THEY CALL IT NATIONAL DRAG. THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT EP, PRODUCED BY NATIONAL DRAG, IS A STEP IN ANOTHER DIRECTION FOR NEW-AGE POP. IT FEATURES SEVERAL SONGS THAT COULD SEND NATIONAL DRAG "NATIONAL." FROM THEIR UP-BEAT RADIO HIT, SHE DOESN'T WANT TO DANCE WITH ME TO THE DOWN-PLAYED THINGS AREN'T GOING MY WAY ANYMORE, IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE "DRAGSTERS" GO BIG-TIME.

MOST OF THE TRACKS ON THIS ALBUM ARE FEEL-GOOD POP HITS THAT LEAVE FANS BOUNCING THEIR HEAD AND SINGING ALONG WITH THE SNAPPY LYRICS. HOWEVER, THERE IS A SERIOUS SIDE TO DRAG AND COHORT NATIONAL, AS THEY DEMONSTRATE IN THEY'RE STILL WAITING FOR THEIR CHANCE, WHICH PORTRAYS A COUPLE'S HARDSHIPS AND DECISIONS.

ULTIMATELY, THE ONLY THING THAT COULD HURT THIS RECORD IS THAT IT ENDS TOO SOON, AND HAS YOU PUSHING REPEAT ON THE STEREO.
- Trailblazer On-Line


"ChicagoMusic.net"

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ELVIS COSTELLO FORMED A BAND WITH WEEZER? THEY WOULD CALL IT NATIONAL DRAG.

INTELLIGENT MUSIC, CAPABLE PLAYERS AND WITTY LYRICS - WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT? GOOD HOOKS? NATIONAL DRAG HAS THEM TOO. IT'S NOT EASY TO PLAY POWER-POP FOR AN HOUR AND STILL KEEP AN AUDIENCE'S ATTENTION. NOT ONLY DID NATIONAL DRAG KEEP MY ATTENTION, I WAS SORRY THEY STOPPED PLAYING FOR THE NIGHT.

NATIONAL DRAG IS SPECIAL. I DON'T MEAN TO IMPLY THAT THEY RODE THE SHORT BUS TO SCHOOL, BUT THE BUS DRIVER PROBABLY OFFERED THEM A RIDE OR TWO. THEIR OFFBEAT SENSE OF HUMOR IS ONE OF THEIR STRONGEST ASSETS. IT IS REPRESENTED WELL BY THEIR DUELING FRONT MEN - GUITARIST F. SCOTT NATIONAL AND BASSIST JIMMY DRAG. BOTH SING EQUALLY WELL, WHICH MAKES FOR SOME VERY GOOD HARMONIES. DRUMMER LOCAL G. DISPLAYED A KNACK FOR KEEPING A STEADY BEAT, AND GUITARIST/KEYBOARD PLAYER CHRISTIAN ROX MUST HAVE MISSED THE BUS THAT DAY, BECAUSE HE WAS ABSENT.

THE BAND PLAYED A BRAND OF POWER-POP THAT WAS INTELLIGENT, STRAIGHTFORWARD AND HONEST. I SAY HONEST BECAUSE THEIR APPROACH LEAVES LITTLE ROOM FOR MISTAKES. MOST BANDS OF THIS GENRE INCORPORATE DISTORTED GUITARS AND NOISE, WHICH MAKES IT EASIER TO HIDE THEIR SHORTCOMINGS. F. SCOTT NATIONAL EMBRACED THE "LESS IS MORE" THEORY AND USED IT TO HIS ADVANTAGE. THIS ALLOWED THE AUDIENCE TO ENJOY HIS LYRICS.

JIMMY DRAG CRAFTED MELODIC BASS LINES WHILE CROONING ABOUT AN ANNOYING GIRL…BUT SHE'S SEXY. FOR SOME REASON, HE REMINDED ME OF THE KID IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD WHO WOULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IF YOU DARED HIM TO. I PICTURE MANY BRUISES AND BROKEN BONES IN HIS CHILDHOOD. THOSE DAYS MAY BE OVER, BUT THEY MAKE FOR INTERESTING SONGS. AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, NATIONAL DRAG DISPLAYS PLENTY OF PERSONALITY IN THEIR STAGE PRESENCE.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NATIONAL DRAG. THEY ARE THE BEST LOCAL BAND I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT WWW.NATIONALDRAG.COM. - Brian Williamson


"Digital City"

ANOTHER ENTRY INTO CHICAGO'S HEALTHY POP-ROCK SCENE, NATIONAL DRAG ARE THE SAD SACKS OF THE INDUSTRY, A TEAM OF SCHMOES WHO FILL THEIR LYRIC SHEETS WITH TALES OF LOVE GONE WRONG AT THE HANDS OF GIRLS WHO WON'T GIVE THEM THE TIME OF DAY.

APPARENTLY THESE FELLOWS HAVE BEEN UNLUCKY IN THE PAST BUT IT SEEMS THEIR TIGHT, SWEETLY STYLED POWER-POP MIGHT TURN A FEW FEMALE HEADS, THOUGH IT MAY LEAVE THEM WITH LITTLE TO SING ABOUT. NO MATTER, THEY CAN ALWAYS LEAN ON THEIR HUMMABLE TUNES, CLASSICALLY SIMPLE MELODIES THAT RING A CHANCE-DANCE-TRUTH-YOUTH STYLE RHYME IN OUR EARS.
- Digital City


Discography

National Drag (EP). 2000, Chicago Pop Records
Sitcom (EP). 2001, Chicago Pop Records
National Drag (LP). Release Date: October 11, 2003, Chicago Pop Records

Photos

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Bio

Somewhere between high anxiety and high fidelity…character study and character assassination…self-loathing and self-gratification…exist National Drag. With the release of their 2000 and 2001 EP’s, National Drag earned a reputation as one of Chicago’s premier power-pop outfits. Praised by critics for their unique blend of genres, sweet-styled harmonies, and catchy three-minute pop gems, the band found a welcome home with fans of Elvis Costello, Weezer, Blur, and Fountains of Wayne.

On their long awaited debut record, National Drag, songwriters Jimmy Drag and F. Scott National have taken the influences from their sleeves and crafted a sound all their own. The band leaves few stones unturned, tackling such subject matter as love, social indifference, fear of commitment, regret, anxiety, perseverance, and marital aides. Drag and National have found their voice…often witty, sometimes scathing, but always true to their hearts.

Stylistically, the band has broadened considerably, commingling their traditional power-pop sound (“I Think I Love You, Michelle,” “Forever Girl,” “I’m Not Where It’s At”) with heavier arrangements (“In Shadows,” “Poor Toxic Heart”) and lush three-part harmonies (“It’s Only Natural,” “Hear Me Out,” “Every Day is Saturday”). What makes it all work is Drag and National’s ability to deconstruct the human condition and touch a chord with listeners. Their message is universal and their sound engaging. National Drag will leave its mark on the first listen.