Many current indie music lovers once went through a punk phase. Occasionally, those indie lovers would like to once again feel as if they're in a '90s teen angst movie, looking out their window in the suburbs as the perfect background music plays from their speakers. As strangely specific as that might sound, there's a band out there with music that will make you feel nothing less of that. The 1984 Draft's new LP 'Make Good Choices' provides us with that perfect combination of nostalgia and excitement of something new.
The 1984 Draft, fronted by Joe Anderl, is native to Dayton, Ohio. With the diverse experiences of its members, this band cultivates a sound so solid and sure of itself, listeners will immediately feel at home in it. Mixing American rock with punk and indie sounds, Anderl uses what he's learned from other bands to create something entirely his own. Having toured alongside indie rock bands such as Beach Slang and punk bands such as Ink and Dagger, Anderl was able to find the perfect happy medium, thus refining the sound of his own band. Luckily, these experiences are what granted us with 'Make Good Choices,' which quickly became a new favorite over here at Us For Once.
There are so many loveable aspects to this LP. The classic punk-length songs, the crisp vocals, the instrumental clarity. One thing that really stood out to us was the quirky opening bits to songs such as 'Lately.' Following a classic count of '1, 2, 3, 4!' heavy guitars make for a song you'll immediately want to headbang to. And why put songs back to back that sound alike? Following 'Lately,' a song entitled 'Miss Ohio' throws us back to the era of American rock, with a bit more acoustics and soulful vocals. If lyrics are more your thing, perhaps 'Morrissey of Mandys' will end up being your new favorite song. With an upbeat tune, the words of this song are at center stage. A track called 'Honest' takes us halfway through the album. At this point, all of the different aspects of Anderl's musical career are apparent in the music. It feels as though we have taken the journey with him, one musical inspiration at a time. The track closes out with an intense melody of guitars, bringing us straight into 'Wedding.'
As if the LP hadn't already won over our hearts, the second half includes even more nostalgic notes with unique twists. The classic punk-style vocals in 'Lutheran Heart' compliment the deep basslines in 'Megaphone' surprisingly well. Finally, as the perfect closing to a wonderfully crafted album, 'Lisbon Falls' once again throws us back to those American rock vibes, shocks us with punk guitar notes, and finishes out with indie vocals.
Many would like to consider music genres as a dying concept, and this is exactly why. Veering out of genre restraints and norms provides us with music so beautiful, we wonder why we hadn't been experimenting like this much longer ago. But this music isn't all over the place. It isn't too much of one thing and not enough of another. It isn't too far out there, making it hard to listen to for some. No, The 1984 Draft has found the perfect combination of styles to call their own, thus providing us with the masterpiece entitled 'Make Good Choices.' We are so excited to have discovered this music and you can rest assured that we'll have these songs on repeat for quite some time.
If you're lucky enough to live in or around the hometown of this band, I definitely would not miss seeing them live. The tour dates are as follows:
June 9 – Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH
July 22 – Jimmies Ladder 11 – Dayton, OH
July 29 – Blind Bob’s – Dayton, OH
August 8 – WYSO – Yellow Springs, OH
August 25 – South Park Tavern – Dayton, OH
October 20 – Blind Bob’s - Dayton, OH
September 1 – Tippapalooza – Tipp City, OH
November 2 – Yellow Cab Tavern – Dayton, OH
More information can be found on their website or Facebook page. And, hey, if you're able to catch them, be sure to send us some videos!