Sound — 9
I was playing through Rock Band 2 when I came across a song by a band I had never heard of before that turned out to be incredible: "A Jagged Gorgeous Winter" by The Main Drag. As soon as I got home I purchased their album "Yours As Fast As Mine" off of iTunes and I have listened to it almost nonstop for a month. The Main Drag is an underground indie band out of Boston. They have only one official album but it is one of the best releases of 2008. The band manages to synthesize together a wide array of instruments (acoustic guitar, drums, bass, violin, horn sections, ect.) with jarring electronic distortion in an impressive way. Hardly any of the songs fail to stick in your head, especially "Swine Houses" and "What's Your Favorite Dinosaur?". The best way to describe their sound is a mix of Arcade Fire and The Postal Service. It has a huge variety of instruments and effects that really reflect the two years of work that went into this record.
Lyrics — 8
The Main Drag's vocals remind me of The Arcade Fire, especially on the opening track "How We'd Look On Paper" when the horns swell and vocalist Adam Arrigo sings "It's true we don't believe it!" A lot of the lyrics are catchy and mostly straight-forward. Arrigo isn't the best of singers, but his voice fit's the mood of the music perfectly, whether it's an anthemic chant ("Nights filled with longer hours!") or softly sung verse ("Like all your cannibal kinds, dead and useless").
Overall Impression — 9
The major thing about this album that won me over was the emotion injected into each song. Whether it's through the lyrics, the swelling violins, or the jagged electronic effects, the listener is effortlessly drawn in. It's impressive that such effect can be achieved by a band on just their first release. I'm excited to see where this band will go next, especially with their popularity growing through the Rock Band franchize.