One of the best-reviewed Houston albums of the year is “swimming in trippy Farfisa organ and bursting with fuzz-amp vigor,” according to Houston Press Music Editor Chris Gray. Free Press Houston’s David Garrick says, “It’s catchy, it’s riddled with hooks, and it’s the best representation of garage rock that I’ve heard in a very long time.”
“We finished recording the album in the late summer of 2014 after [Germany’s] Soundflat Records told us they wanted to be a part of our next release," said Mikey Drag, front man for the band. "We initially just wanted to release a 45 but the label suggested just going full throttle and recording an LP. Jon Patrick of United Waves recorded us at his studio, the Club House. [It was] mixed by our friend in NYC, Matt Clarke, and mastered by another great friend in Spain, Jorge Munoz-Cobo Gonzalez. We've been getting a great response so far!”
And why not? The nine tracks on the album are tighter than Frankie’s abs and colorful as Annette’s bikinis. The album was released last month, in the late fall, but it’s a jolt of pure, audible summertime throughout its 20-plus-minute running time. Yet while Make You Mine may be reminiscent of July afternoons by the Shamrock Hotel's pool in its heyday, there’s something brand new about it too. It's the band’s signature sound, a calling card that is like nothing else being offered in Houston. When you hear a Mikey and the Drags song – whether it’s older stuff like “Evil One” from On The Loose! (a favorite) or the rockaway-styled chant of “Hey Hey Hey!!!” on the new LP, you know it’s Mikey and -he Drags. In a way, that makes the Houston Press Music Award-winning band a flag-bearer for this style of garage-rock.
“Wow! To be called a "flag-bearer" is definitely flattering,” Drag says. “Yes, there are some real cool local bands with garage/psych influences — Mantra Love, Modfag/Born Liars, Guillotines, Indian Jewelry and Mojave Red, to name a few. And I certainly hope to see more garage and psych rock-n-roll-type Houston bands be created in the near future.”
However, the band went in different directions when putting tonight’s bill together. Lucas Gorham, formerly of Grandfather Child, brings Hevin Spacey to the bill, his new solo project that Drag says “has a groovy, psychedelic feel that really fits along with some of our psychedelic songs.” Also on the bill is Dollie Barnes, a relatively new local band that has been playing scores of dates recently; Drag describes them as "a ‘60s-‘70s pop sound that's incredible to watch live!”
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Drag said tonight’s show will be a good test for a run of shows the band plans to play in Southern states in spring 2016. He’s hoping that will lead to some European dates late next year. More immediately, if you miss the band tonight at Continental Club, you can catch them at Cactus Music this Saturday. You can find Make You Mine there now and also at Sig’s Lagoon, Drag notes. The album is also available on the label's Web site, www.soundflat.de. Additionally, he says, the band is writing and recording new songs for a possible 2016 release.
Until then, Drag, the band, its fans and the local-music scribes who love Make You Mine are content to celebrate it in a big way tonight.
“It's an incredible feeling to see your hard work on a record-store shelf,” Drag says. “With Make You Mine being our first full-length and on vinyl, it's especially groovy!
Mikey and the Drags celebrate their debut album, Make You Mine, 9 p.m. tonight at the Continental Club, 3700 Main. Hevin Spacey and Dollie Barnes open the show, with DJ ELEELANDC spinning '60s tracks throughout the night. $10.