Drug Rug: Paint The Fence Invisible

By: Dennis Cook

Drug Rug really ties the room together on their sophomore album, Paint The Fence Invisible (released July 28 on Black and Greene Records). Despite a name that suggests opium haze, poor hygiene and laying about, these clever cats 'n' kittens are molding a warped contemporary version of what The Mamas and The Papas once sculpted, i.e. smartly shaped, harmony rich pop that's been skinny dipping in strange waters. With a helping hand behind the boards (and drum kit) from Apollo Sunshine's Jeremy Black, the album blends effervescent catchiness with just enough tweaking to keep the conversation lively, with the end results sparkling like a happy phantom come to scare up smiles. The vaguely Casper The Friendly Ghost artwork and titles like "Haunting You" and "Passes On" suggest some sort of conversation with the afterworld (where, if we're to trust Prince, things are much better…) but never in a morose way. Autoharp, Omnichord, Mellotron and groovy guitars take one back to a time when Jan & Dean and the Beach Boys were new, but there's such exuberance and obvious affection for their inspirations that they become new again in Drug Rug's hands. "Blue Moon" and the punky-pop of "Hannah, Please" are as perfectly constructed as any pop music in recent years, and when they drop down on "Don't Be Frightened By The Devil" or "Coffee In The Morning" they tap some of Moby Grape's splendid melancholy, while many other neat touches throughout suggest this is only gonna further curl one's toes into their weave as time goes on.

Drug Rug began a national tour last week with Portugal. The Man.. Find tour dates here.

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[Published on: 9/21/09]

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