Artist: The 1984 Draft (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Bandsintown, BandCamp, Spotify)
There are some records that just hit you. They have a sound that immediately grabs you on the first listen and from that moment on you know you've found something that you are going to love. That's what happened to me the first time I listened to The 1984 Draft's new album Makes Good Choices. The band's sound is this perfect blending of '80s college rock, '90s punk and indie rock, and modern bands that mix elements of the above with classic rock and Americana sensibilities, with a dash of post punk atmosphere for good measure. The result is a sound that is compelling and catchy, melodic and hooky, while feeling familiar, nostalgic, modern, and new all at the same time. The band is the brainchild of primary singer/songwriter Joe Anderl, a 20+ year veteran of the Dayton, OH music scene and it's that experience that shines through on Makes Good Choices. In fact, this record is dripping with the essence of Generation X (the actual generation, not the band but I'd love to hear these guys take a crack at "Kiss Me Deadly")...at least those of us who spent the '80s listening to The Replacements and (early) R.E.M., the '90s listening to Sugar and Buffalo Tom, the '00s listening to The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady, and the 2010s listening to Beach Slang and Japandroids. At 10 songs and clocking in at about 30 minutes, Makes Good Choices is a nearly perfect indie punk rock record that draws you in with its familiarity and hooks and keeps you in with its intimacy and depth. There's so much going on here that it is nearly impossible to sum up in a review. The bottom line: this is an outstanding record that deserves, if not demands, multiple listens to fully absorb and enjoy. And this is a very, very good thing.