Coed Pageant – Drag EP

Jonathan Cisneros of Snail Quail turned me on to this band last November and I am very glad he did. Coed Pageant hail from California, but have relocated to Arizona and with the brand new Drag EP in tow. If you like your indie rock blended with folk and intellectually reflective lyricism, this may well be your new favorite band. Recorded in a California living room, the entire EP has a cozy feeling to it and it seems that it belongs more in Flagstaff than anywhere in Cali. The opener “Our Bar” is a reflection of life in California and the watering hole that used to be their bar. It’s a gentle number that features extra guitar by Jesse W. Johnson. It blends near seamlessly into the title track, which sounds like it is about both a person, situations and images that are a literal drag. The minimalist combination of guitar, pounding drums and vocal harmonies is pretty exquisite, I have to admit. I also have to admit that since the EP has been on my playlist since early November, it has become one of my favorites, the songs are catchier than I first thought, more infectious than I anticipated. This is some solid songwriting and it’s got staying power, as well as the aforementioned intelligence. “Drag” in particular would be a great song for single consideration, because I think it would appeal to a fairly wide audience, but it may be to dour lyrically.

“Schoolyard Town” solidifies their sound, vocal delivery and lyrical style in just under two minutes–it is the crux of their style from which they rarely vary and they don’t have to really. Their stark and powerful presentation is enough to carry their weight. This continues triumphantly on “Paper Thin” which is about being wasted after a party and embracing the general self-destructive allure of being in your twenties, unemployed and carelessly indestructible–possibly the best song to be found here. I love the beginning of “Feeding The Fear” which sounds like it’s recorded on a portable tape recorder (and may have been), then switches to a more polished “studio sound. It’s a tale told of friends with benefits and the desire for something more, another one of the better tracks here for the lyrics and production effect alone. “Salvage The Summer” finishes the EP and it is probably the most fully realized pop song found here and the one that will stick in your mind, it’s got some serious hooks and I think it was pretty clever to finish with this, because you’ll wake up with it in the morning. After months of listening to this, they all sound link singles to me. All in all, a damn fine release filled with some amazing stories and brilliant music. Don’t just take my word for it, listen to it below, it’s perfect for the Arizona Winter with cool nights, backyard fires and a cocktail or two. Coed Pageant will be playing this Friday, January 9th at The Trunk Space with Reality Show, Snail Quail and Futuresleep.