By Jordan Mooney.
They said that the peace would be eternal. That finally, the beast had fallen silent – the Hi-Fi’s speakers were silent and collecting dust. The iTunes playlist would not exceed the next multi-thousand milestone. The CD Collection would not grow further.
But no. Fear not; we were just on hiatus while Jordan had to focus on earning his contract at a new job. He has his contract now, so we’re opening back up. May we never fall silent again, apart from when eating, that just isn’t pretty.
And have we got some corkers for you – while we’ve been stressed out over other things, our wonderful bearded labelman extraordinaire Mr. Stu Taylor has been sending us bubble-envelopes of STP Records’ latest releases.
So, without further ado…let’s get ourselves stuck into this palette of delicious, if occasionally obscene, punk, rock and roll. The first disc we’ve decided to dive into is from a band we know and love…Fi, Diesel, AC, Tom and Ryan are back on the ‘zine. Hurray!
STP Records No.29, Released September 1st 2014
Produced by Jon Priestley, Abatis Studios
DragSTER are the pudding that proves a female-led band can – and more often than not, will- kick ass on every platform it steps onto. (After all, if I said this ‘Zine has done exactly that for the past two years you’d just assume I was being utterly flippant, wouldn’t you?)
We’ve reviewed them live twice and every time they provide a considerable argument for rock-hard feminism in the world of music. And zombies. Zombies are great. Actually, throw in some radio static and far too much noise. Hey, blood? Guts? Pour it on…. and some glitter.
DragSTER are a bit difficult to review repeatedly because they’re so beautifully consistent. Everything the group does seems to be a peak – every performance we’ve seen is just as good as the last. They’ve made a pretty damn powerful name for themselves because they’re a powerful group. A bit of a cult group in every sense of the word.
Their guitars rage, Fi‘s deadly, seductive but tough-as-nails vocals ring and I think the drummer’s having an episode and hitting his drum kit with all and sundry. I don’t know what state Abatis Studios were left in but it sounds like recording this was a riot!
They’re not, perhaps, the heaviest band we’ve ever seen or heard of – but we wouldn’t want to mess with them. Like many of STP’s bands, this a group that can proudly fly the flag for “punk isn’t dead, it’s just hiding out in dive bars”. They’re truly proof that a good band may not always end up on multi-million contracts, but will end up with a cult like following of proud fans that will follow ’til the end of the Earth.
Then will praise the group in Limbo.
The beauty of this record is that it captures the band perfectly. It’s not over-produced to the extent that it loses that beautiful anarchy that Fi and her troop lead on stage. It gets every inch of that atmosphere, that fun, that unique sense of enjoyment that only a raging group of talented punks can produce on stage, bouncing and head banging with the best of them. Rightfully so – they’re not far off being there anyway.
The lyrics are not overtly complex delves into the human psyche – that’s not the point. It’s really just a celebration of punk, rock and the values of both – and a bit of pointing out how shit it is on the streets, too. It goes dark, savage and biting, but it doesn’t try to take the fun out of the party. It’s anarchic – but it doesn’t mean it’s a dead serious album of whinging. STP doesn’t deal with people who do nothing but complain – a performance has to be fun, you know.
DragSTER have caught that balance. They’ll spread the odd bit of satire our point fingers towards class divides and the racist fuckheads thinking they can run the country, but what good is the message if it makes everybody miserable?
It’s simple, short screams of verse – perfect for shouting into a microphone after a few warm pints from the bar. It gets fists raised, it gets people shouting and, to be fair, it probably gets people hammered, too.
Each track represents the group to a tee. Nothing breaks up this high octane ride – it could as much last ten minutes as it does forty.
Catchy riffs, catchy choruses, blah blah blah – you all know the drill. What’s really so special about DragSTER? They’re DragSTER. If you know the group already, you’ll know that makes perfect sense. If you don’t? Then you’d better check their gig listings, hadn’t you…
I’ve heard a lot of heavy metal bands claim they’re rock hard, tough, fist-flying head bangers. Frankly, I would place my bets on a lady like Fi to rip them up to pieces. They’re a unique form of deadly power – if it wasn’t for amplifiers having a maximum setting, they’d probably have flattened half of Manchester, Nottingham, Coventry et al by now.
I’m not sure if I’d say this is the best introduction to the outfit – that, without question, would be seeing them live. But it’s a fantastic way to take that thunder and lightning home with you and celebrate a nice rampant storm in your living room. See them live, buy the album, give it a spin, but just remember…
If it’s too loud, you’re too old!
Favourite Track: Fight Fire with Gasoline. A rare melodic vocal, a nice, (relatively) long track and a catchy sound proves to be the perfect standout for us.
For more info on Coventry’s finest, gig listings, et al…
Not convinced? Give it a listen below…
And next comes social media….
And don’t forget to visit STP for more incredible punk, rock and goodness knows what else. We’ve more reviews to come…
Our sincere thanks go out to Stu for his patience during our hiatus and for having the generosity to send us physical releases in the place of the MP3’s we’re so used to. It feels like luxury having a booklet in our grubby little mitts to leaf through!
Nowhere near as many thanks go to the promoters who have filled our inbox with 652 emails about fop haired hipsters complaining about ruined relationships.