Here are BobbySix.com, we're massive fans of Giant Drag. Indeed, when, nearly three years back, frontwoman Annie Hardy was trying to scrape enough money together to fund the recording of a new album without the clout of a label behind her, we put our hands in our pockets while also helping to spread the word. The album is on its way, but, in the interim, Hardy and her trusty drummer Micah Calabrese brought out the fan-funded Swan Song EP.
Considering Giant Drag's debut album - which hit shelves almost half-a-decade ago - contained perky post-grunge songs with titles such as Kevin Is Gay and You Fuck Like My Dad, the EP's title track is surprisingly ruminative and slow-paced, only bursting into life in its final third. That's not to say it isn't a strong start, as heavenly aahs soar over Hardy's distinctive guitar sound.
Next, Stuff To Live For is outstanding. Again, it starts slowly yet this time builds to the point where Hardy is belting out a throaty, visceral howl. As well as stretching her vocal in new directions, the song is epic, rousing, powerful and the perfect example of why Giant Drag have been so sorely missed during their absence.
Perhaps the track that lands most closely to their brilliant debut, Hearts and Unicorns, is White Baby, as fuzzy grunge guitars combine with chunky riffs, sweet harmonies and a pop melody as Hardy tells us "I wanna have all your babies/White babies with you," with a sugar sweet vocal. It sounds like 1984 Madonna fronting Nirvana with The Ronettes as backing vocalists. Or something.
The four-track EP ends with a swerve ball in the form of a stripped-back love song featuring just Hardy's voice and an acoustic guitar. It's as tender, heartfelt a moment as we have ever heard from the usually flippant Annie Hardy and crowns a triumphant return that shows extra dimensions to the Giant Drag sound as well as further depth and maturity to their tone and lyrics. Swan Song EP is the perfect appetiser for the new album due for release later this year.
Review by Rob Townsend. Check out the live performance of Swan Song below: