Pride Parade
Pride Parade Now that enough space and time has come between the '90s and our modern era, it's OK to fly the flannel once again. This is simultaneously a timely coincidence and complete non-issue for Pride Parade, who are less a product of their times and more a product of their lives. While it wouldn't be disingenuous to call the band contemporaries of Queens of the Stone Age, Dead Confederate, Young Widows, or Monotonix, their disinterest in outside trends or influences is worn plainly on their sleeves. What they are interested in, however, is playing the music that they create naturally: pummeling, all-business heavy rock music.

Years of near-systematic alcohol abuse hasn't dulled their collective blades; rather, "Dose" is irrefutably their most white-knuckle intense album yet. Vocalist/guitarist Andrew Prater probably picked up a few new ways to convey "blisteringly miserable" when he contributed vocals to the latest Harvey Milk record last year. He also brought Harvey Milk's drummer/producer, Kyle Spence, to commit "Dose" to tape as only he knows how--the recording is clear, strong, and massive.

The two other guitarists (yep, a Skynyrd-perfect troika), Allen Owens and BJ Bracewell, comprise a sort of dirtbag Slash/Izzy duo, along with bassist Bubba McDonald and drummer Aaron Sims contributing stoically solid performances. All of the aforementioned are time-hardened Athens, Georgia music scene foot soldiers who clearly made the decision to take themselves and their musicianship very seriously under the Pride Parade moniker, as smirkingly sardonic as their ironic, defeatist (their lyrics don't exactly scream "self-esteem") band name may be. In the last year, the band has effectively captured the attention of the Southeastern music scene via high-profile gigs alongside Dinosaur Jr, Maserati, and Qui.

100% gimmick-free and unrelentingly aggressive, Pride Parade succeed in what so few bands can accomplish: taking various formulas (blues-damaged slo-mo rock, punky nihilism, total fucking barnburners) and effectively standing up to, as well as adding to, the existing pantheon. "Dose" is pretty undeniable stuff. -Jeff Tobias