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Drag the River admits they are “Bad at Breaking Up”
Travis Schott
Antelope Staff

Drag the River reunites yet again and doesn’t disappoint with their latest album “Bad at Breaking Up.”

Based out of Fort Collins, Colo., Drag the River first hooked up in 1996 forming an eclectic group of punk music mavens. Chad Price of All and Jon Snodgrass from the Armchair Martians lead the way and are joined by Paul Rucker, also from the Martians and JJ Nobody from the Nobodys rounding off the group.

Since the band’s conception, each member still consistently takes part in other side projects. But fortunately for Drag the River fans, they have managed to merge once more.

Price and Snodgrass provide the lyrics for “Bad at Breaking Up” while offering two distinct voices throughout the album.

“Bad at Breaking Up” leads off with “Having a Party” where Snodgrass and Price set the stage with their harmonious, inimitable tones. As is the case with their previous albums, Price manages to enthrall listeners with his soothing voice, establishing a rugged, yet calm atmosphere for the LP And Snodgrass accents various tracks throughout with his incomparable bluegrass style.

Packed into the 20-track record are haunting, distressing, and at times disturbing lyrics capable of leaving listeners mildly unsettled. In “Caleb’s Grave” Price seems to be lamenting the loss of an old friend when he moans, “Heart won’t quit beating feeding the pain, blood soaked in your skin won’t wash away…Haven’t been this scared in a lifetime, roses die on the bloodline down in Caleb’s grave.” And words in “Jeff Black Song” are filled with regret, seemingly objecting to a torn relationship that has apparently been reduced to ruins.

Overall, listeners will experience sudden shifts not just from track to track but within each song.  One moment an apparent rock or punk style takes shape. Then, without any sort of indication, a sudden country flavor gets thrown in with the addition of some sensual steel guitar.

Drag the River is overflowing with talent, and over the past 15 years members of the group have continuously contributed to the traditional punk rock and country rock music scenes. “Bad at Breaking Up” is just another volume added to the library.

If you love alternative forms of contemporary country, punk, or “hellbilly” music like Hank III, Meat Puppets, Two Cow Garage, or Whiskey & Co., Drag the River is no doubt worth a listen.


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