While looking through my music notes recently I came across several entries of CDs to be on the lookout for. The issue? I had made these notes over 10 years ago! Suffice to say I lept to my keyboard to correct this oversight and hunt them down right away.
Thus arrives, Pro Drags by Big Stick. This NY duo trickled out a few singles, EPs and albums from the mid ’80s to the late ’90s. Originally sharing a label with the likes of Big Black, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, The Mekons and Suicide the band typified the genre-bending alt-rock scene of the times, combining noise, punk, garage, surf and most extensively, racetrack car culture into their music.
Big Stick themselves, a married couple, distanced their own identities from the band, creating more mysterious personas via fake names (such as Yanna Trance), wearing masks in press photos and performing shrouded and cloaked. All this mystery adds to the crazed fun of the music. Granted, it sounds a bit like a high-minded art project but believe me, the end result is decidedly unpretentious. For proof just check out their song “Girls On The Toilet”, full of Jesus And Mary Chain sounding fuzz-rock or the sound collage of “You Better Not Be Spendin’ No Money On No Racecar” which could have easily been the b-side to Ministry’s “Jesus Built My Hotrod”.
And here I must give a shout out to Craig L. who played this CD for me all those years ago. I’m catching up, finally, I promise! In the end I’ll say shame on me for waiting so long to pick this up and discover these guys. This will be essential listening next time I’m headed to the racetrack.