“Just when I think that my faith in mankind has reached its limit, I run into Little Bobby somewhere. And my faith is restored.” --Anonymous quote overheard in a bar.
Before we really get started, let’s talk about Unit 7 Drain, just you and I.
A few weeks back at a local club, two touring bands flaked out and did not show up to play. (It’s a really funny story, actually. Remind me to tell it to you sometime.) Well, that left just one local band able to play on a Friday night. Members of Unit 7 Drain, unwilling to let down the local act and the club owner, began making phone calls. As long as they could borrow the equipment onstage, they were more than willing to arrange the rest of their band’s arrival and play a set.
Bassist Ella shyly kicked off her high heeled shoes and prepared to play in bare feet. The rest of the band crawled onstage to face an unfamiliar heap of borrowed equipment. And they did it. They turned what promised to be an emotional and economic tragedy into a rock ’n' roll whipsaw that blistered and cracked the paint on the walls. Just because they could. I wish you could have been there.
That’s a class act in my book--one that has been humbly serving the Albuquerque music scene for years. And this weekend, Unit 7 Drain are going to drop a new record that is going to change things. It is going to change things for the band, the Albuquerque music scene and for you, if you’re smart enough to buy it and listen to it.
LISTS is the testimony of a band that has reached ramming speed. Not only is it musically clever in every way possible, but this record makes me wonder and just a little bit afraid of about a thousand different things that happen in my head and heart every day. (And I can only assume that they're happening to everyone else at the same time, which just sweetens the deal.) Unit 7 Drain’s work is like a spotlight searching in a dark room, glancing off of the corners and flashing shadows on the walls. Shadows of things rarely look like the things themselves and there is something unnerving about that.
Recorded in Santa Fe by Tim Stroh and released on Albuquerque’s Socyermom Records, LISTS is stacked up to create a towering shock wave when it drops. One listen confirms the remarkable effort and level of pride that Stroh, Socyermom and U7D have put into this project. It far exceeds the quality of many New Mexico recordings, while fiercely maintaining its ties to the strange desert town that we proudly call home. And that’s not an easy thing.
Most bands and record labels struggle for years, unable to break free of being only a local concern. And, too often, those who break out of their scene shake the dust of their home town from their feet soon after. You don't get that sense with this recording. LISTS is a local effort that is going to have results far, far away from here.