Ukiah Drag, Dirt Trip

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 03.19.14 in Listen to This

Ukiah Drag are a New England band with loose ties to the Ascetic House arts collective, a publisher/tape label/DIY film studio that produces recordings and pamphlets that tend toward the darker end of religious iconography (I once purchased from them a pamphlet consisting of the lyrics to particularly unsettling hymns, interspersed with bleak etchings of Biblical scenes). Some of those same themes crop up in “Dirt Trip,” the group’s menacing new single. “If you pray, you’ll be saved,” goes the grim chorus, though the truth of that statement feels decidedly questionable. Summoning the same sense of violence as Pop. 1280, Slug Guts and — to go even further back — the Birthday Party and Bauhaus, Ukiah Drag are a dark sermon delivered with sickening relish by a notoriously corrupt preacher.