The most frustrating should-have-been-massive band of the 21st century so far is Giant Drag, formed by guitarist and vocalist Annie Hardy, usually in cahoots with drummer and keyboard player Micah Calabrese. Their debut Hearts and Unicorns is full of heavy guitars, gorgeous vocals, silly studio patter and enchanting melodies, but sadly, until this year’s okay Waking Up Is Hard to Do, that was it. And although Annie is a stunning songwriter in her own right, Giant Drag’s best-known song is a (really good) cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.
Annie is known for her potty mouth, and this is reflected in song titles such as My Dick Sux, You’re Full Of Shit (Check Out My Sweet Riffs), and the infamous You Fuck Like My Dad (handily abbreviated as YFLMD). While she appears to be amusing herself with her song titles, there is a dark theme running through her lyrics – “your dream / is my nightmare”, “love love love / this isn’t it”, “my love is meaningless / my life is meaningless / this all is meaningless”, “no number of pills / will fix my life today” are examples of this.
Bass parts were provided by Micah using a keyboard as he drummed. This system was prone to failure in a live setting, which at one show led to this quip from Annie: “Without this aspect of the band, we’re basically the White Stripes”! Hearts and Unicorns is a highly inventive record and is up there with The Breeders’ Last Splash as one of my all-time favourites. It’s just a shame that, with songs as strong as Kevin Is Gay and This Isn’t It (videos for both below), it wasn’t a bigger success.
13 September 2005.
Kevin Is Gay (video below), Cordial Invitation, This Isn’t It (video below).