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Industry Giants

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Album Review

Instead of putting their own picture on the cover of their sixth album, Industry Giants, Superdrag have opted to represent themselves as four ants, and it's an apt metaphor — like many insects, Superdrag are quietly industrious, they're tenacious, and they are not going to go away, no matter what people think of them. And unlike the ants that show up at your picnic, Superdrag's hardy nature is increasingly welcome as the years wear on; thirteen years after a brief brush with fame, Industry Giants confirms that John Davis and his compatriots can still crank out big, guitar-heavy rock tunes with a pop hook as well as anyone covering the same territory in the 21st century. Davis and Brandon Fisher's guitars sound positively monolithic on "Everything'll Be Made Right," "Try," and "Filthy and Afraid," giving the songs the weight and muscle of classic Hüsker Dü or My Bloody Valentine, but the buoyant melodies of these tunes are never crushed under the weight of the band, and when drummer Don Coffey, Jr. and bassist Tom Pappas push the tempos into the red zone, the material still swings despite the velocity of "Deathblow to Your Pride" and "5 Minutes Ahead of the Chaos"." While Industry Giants was recorded in piecemeal fashion at three different studios and with three different mixers, the might and simple rightness of Superdrag's music gives the album all the coherence it needs, and you'd be hard pressed to find a pop band that rocks as hard as Superdrag — or a rock band that has hooks this tasty. Nothing's going to make Superdrag go away now, and as long as they're making albums that kick as hard and as joyously as Industry Giants, who would want that to happen?


Formed: 1993 in Knoxville, TN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Though many have dubbed Superdrag a punk-pop or power pop band, their music has shown itself to be atop of the aforementioned genres. Taking as much influence from the British Invasion-style pop of the Beatles and the Zombies as My Bloody Valentine and Hüsker Dü, Superdrag's songs combined melodicism and noise in fully distinct fashion. While many have compared frontman John Davis -- no relation to the Jonathan Davis of Korn or John Davis of Folk Implosion -- to Big Star's Alex Chilton in terms of...
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