My wife found this record over the weekend. She has a keen eye for wicked shit. I’m not sure how she stumbled upon this one, but I lit up as soon as she did. Drug Cabin’s Wiggle Room is like Ween made a whole record of all psychedelic songs. I consider myself pretty much the biggest Ween fan there is, so this is really saying something. The best part is that this is actually their second album this year, so it’s like Ween made two records of all psychedelic songs!
Continuing the theme of last week’s Beach House review, Wiggle Room is the second release of a two album session, this time by an LA indie rock duo made up of Nathan Thelen Pretty Girls Make Graves and Marcus Congleton of Ambulance LTD. It came out in April of this year, so it’s not exactly a new release, but I couldn’t help myself here.
Wiggle Room is filled with complex textures, rich instrumentation, clean production and sweet unison vocals. Ween gushing asside, anyone with an affinity for Apples in Stereo, Brian Wilson, or Of Montreal circa 1990s is going to feel right at home with this record. But Drug Cabin isn’t all that easy to pigeonhole.
The band dances back and forth between yacht rock and country all the while maintaining a psychedelic cohesiveness by sewing everything together with pedal steel and telecaster—sometimes all in the same song:
The highlight of the record is a tragically short country number called Ruby. Barely close to two minutes, the song moves along with a Doobie Brothers-esque driving train beat while the bass stands in stark contrast by just holding down the groove with minimal pickup notes at each bar. This goes against my every instinct as country bass player, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s a great tension and something my lack of experience playing contemporary music has robbed me of; but not for much longer.
Drug Cabin is a real gem, and both of the records in from this session are worth exploring deeply.