Superdrag: Regretfully Yours

It’s fitting that the cover of this album would be a mirror, because I’m experiencing a bit of through-the-looking-glass-ness as I listen to it. Specifically, I keep hearing one of my all-time favorite albums, The Stereo’s Three Hundred. This came out two years earlier than Three Hundred, and it’s safe to say it was an influence on The Stereo, and I think Rory in particular, as they worked on that album. But the fact that I’m coming to it 16 years after it came out and 14 years after Three Hundred…I keep thinking Superdrag’s ripping off The Stereo, but of course if there was any ripping-off going on it had to go in the other direction.

So you’ve got power-pop, attitude-filled, guitar-driven rock with great hooks, cool chord changes, and anthemic, singable choruses. It’s really rock and roll in its purest form, and it’s hard not to love it. I do love it. Plus there are lots of lyrics about cigarettes and masturbation, so, you know, lots of fun college memories.

The biggest similarity to The Stereo is “N.A. Kicker,” which is like a mash-up of the verse of a Rory song from Three Hundred and the chorus of “4 AM” from New Tokyo Is Calling. Consider these lyrics:

N.A. Kicker:
You’re the one I wanna adore
And I can’t shut it off anymore

 

4 AM
Who’s that knockin’ at my door
My guess is it’s the one I adore
Cuz I can’t get to sleep anymore

Still, at the end of the day, Three Hundred is better executed than this. The Jamie songs are just too strong and it sounds a ton better. Regretfully Yours is on the major label, but the work Jamie did on Three Hundred sounds so much more full…it sounds like it was meant to be played in a 15,000-seat arena.

Rating:
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Mix: “Slot Machine,” “Phaser,” “Carried,” “Cynicality,” “What If You Don’t Fly”
– “Sucked Out,” “Destination Ursa Major,” “Whitey’s Theme,” “Truest Love,” “What If You Don’t Fly,” “Nothing Good Is Real,” “Rocket”
– “Garmonbozia,” “N.A. Kicker”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Slot Machine –
  2. Phaser – Rock song with attitude that you’d play the steady notes on guitar while leaning back, chest open, head looking up into lights.
  3. Carried –
  4. Sucked Out – Very Rory. Love the way his voice pinches on “feelin'”
  5. Cynicality –
  6. Destination Ursa Major – Like the pre-chorus a lot. Chorus is too repetitive and song is too long, but the material is awesome.
  7. Whitey’s Theme – the descending melody in the chorus sounds just a little bit like “On My Sonar” for a minute.
  8. Truest Love – “So much more to live for than my fist.” That might be actually three fist masturbation references. Like the guit sound, which they kind of reprise in “Nothing Good Is Real.” Maybe that slowed-down guitar sound means masturbation.
  9. What If You Don’t Fly – Total hip-shaking groove. Love.
  10. Garmonbozia – slower and duller and too longer than most. Not bad.
  11. N.A. Kicker – Very The Stereo.
  12. Nothing Good Is Real – does he say “I can only love my hand”? is that the second hand-explicit reference to masturbation on this record? Slower and somewhat too slow, but really distorted guitar and delivery on vox makes it work. Also gets huge by end so patience with beginning is rewarded.
  13. Rocket –
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