The Ukiah Drag, “Open Room In Hell”, “Criminal Authority” (Wharf Cat Records)
Two new tracks from The Ukiah Drag, the band’s first since last year’s excellent In the Reaper’s Quarters LP.
The first, “Open Room In Hell”, is swirling, vertiginous, reminiscent of early Butthole Surfers. The titular chamber – a “monument of filth” where “every cocksucker’s mouth has been sewn shut” and third eyes are stabbed; where the narrator “lays [his] head”, “sick” and wanting you to die – is described in lurid detail, making the track a kind of aural Hieronymus Bosch hellscape. Perhaps the room’s for let, and this is a kind of Craig’s List or Airbnb listing for the fallen – any takers?
The second, “Criminal Authority” swings with a Cramps-like, malevolent strut. The lyrics depict someone condemning with rising, crazed indignation, the “evil ways” of an unnamed other (or maybe the ‘man in the mirror’?) and the way they “play”. Vocalist ZZ Ramirez rails and moans, and the swampy, acid trip production and use of distorted synth and organ gives the feel of a particularly off-putting tent revival, or the unsettling feel of hearing your unhinged neighbor rant, rave and break shit upstairs.
Both tracks will appear on The Ukiah Drag’s upcoming EP, fittingly entitled Crypt Cruiser, due September 4 on Wharf Cat Records. We can’t wait.