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Unlocked: The Key’s Review of DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush

Baltimore Crush artwork by Perry Shall | http://www.perryshall.com/
DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush | artwork by Perry Shall | http://www.perryshall.com/

“Do you remember we would go to church and play the pool shark?” trills Dom Angelella on “St. Tom’s,” the second track from DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush. This line is just one example of many that invites listeners into this fuzzy world of basement-moshers-with-guitars on the album, a follow-up to 2013’s Paragraph Nights.

Baltimore Crush isn’t just a shift from their debut LP; it’s a progression into a different branch of rock. Sure, the ten-track album still has touches of DRGN King’s signature electronic influences, but the driving forces on this effort come from thrash-worthy guitar solos counteracted by relaxed surf vibes, which in itself could be a description of the people the album’s written for; coasting along but screwing up big time in an attempt to mask unreached potential.

The percussion on “Solo Harp,” which the band played at the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival, has this intensity that personifies how important the rest of the album is, making it an interesting yet appropriate choice as the last track on the record. It hearkens back more familiarly to earlier work from DRGN King, but the song’s themes provide a fitting conclusion for this new album as well. Baltimore Crush is a spectacular collection of feelings about the common overwhelming pressure to break out and do something huge and what it’s like to watch people flounder along as they fail to meet those expectations.

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Unlocked: Download “Undertow” and get pulled into DRGN KING’s Baltimore Crush

photo courtesy of DRGN KING
photo courtesy of DRGN KING

Listening to DRGN KING’s Baltimore Crush is a bit like remembering what you might have written in your journal when you were seventeen. Well, not even a journal, because that would indicate you strived for consistency. Who had time to be consistent at seventeen? It’s like finding a “really important” piece of looseleaf on which you frantically mapped your ten-year-plan during a study hall, convinced that following this agenda, of course, was key to Making It Big.

Because in ten years, you were supposed to have it All Figured Out.

If you followed all these things and nothing happened, If you didn’t follow this list, If you didn’t make it by then, you weren’t doing it right.

But growing up and realizing happiness lies in finding something worthwhile, something you care about, is one of those things you don’t really believe until you realize your own happiness. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Breakwater at World Cafe Live; Tedeschi Trucks Band at Mann Center, DRGN King at The Fire

breakwater-62While you’re hypnotized by that amazing animated GIF above, we’d like to invite you not to miss Breakwater, performing at the World Cafe Live tonight. When Daft Punk sampled their song “Release the Beast” in the 2005 hit “Robot Rock”, the 70s Philly funk band was put back on the map. See what our Bruce Warren has to say about the rediscovered band here. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Below, watch Breakwater’s performance of “Work It Out” at The Savory this past June.

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Watch a new DRGN KING video for ? and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears” (playing Little Berlin on Sunday)

Quickly becoming one of Philly’s bands to watch, DRGN KING recently released a cover of “96 Tears,” the Question Mark and the Mysterians hit. The video, which premiered on Spinner, follows singer Dominic Angelella and his DRGN guys embracing city urchin lifestyle,  slumming around rooftops and junkyards. DRGN KING, who was recently signed to Bar None Records, is preparing to release their debut full-length Paragraph Nights in January. Check out “96 Tears” on Spinner here, and you can stream their Holy Ghost EP below. DRGN King plays Little Berlin on Sunday, December 16 with Secret Mountains; more information can be found at the Facebook event page.