Drunkdriver - Fire Sale [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)


Fire Sale [7 inch] (2009)

Fashionable Idiots

Though few probably expected it, the band Wives ended up spawning two of the more exciting rock bands around in 2009 in the form of No Age and Drunkdriver. While No Age's progression has led them to indie rock stardom with softened noise and tight tunes, Drunkdriver decided to go the complete opposite direction, almost daring listeners to make it through full records. If you've watched blown-out cell phone videos on YouTube, you might recognize the trademark Drunkdriver sound, except they do it with just drums, guitar and vocals.

The A-side of Drunkdriver's most recent single contains their most blatantly punkish song yet, "Fire Sale." The barely two-minute track pummels the listener with a repetitive four-chord riff, pounding drums and up front yowls. As the song races on, the volume of the music subtly increases until the end, by which time every new cymbal crash comes within striking distance of breaking an ear drum.

The B-side "It Never Happened" slows the approach down to a crawl, doubling the length of the title track whilst lurching forward with sporadic drumming and eye-shaking feedback. Michael Berdan's anguished vocals move into the spotlight for this song until the last 45 seconds, which could possibly be classified as grind if only you could hear individual instruments in the swirl of noise.

Since this is 2009 and vinyl is all the rage again, let's speak of the packaging for a bit. The plain black record comes encased in a plain gray cardboard sleeve with an obviously photocopied sheet of paper glued on, both sides identical save for the song title; it's ugly packaging for ugly music for ugly people. Perfect.