Warm Drag are a musical two piece. A two-sided conversation. Two devils on your shoulders, one of them telling you to take that drug, sleep with that person and steal that car. The other devil is whispering that you should hit the reverb pedal and turn the volume alllll the way up.
Warm Drag listen to both devils. And they are bringing their samplers-and-switchblade post-noir noise disco to you this summer, with their self-titled debut on In The Red.
The two people in Warm Drag do specific things. Vashti Windish sings, the way Siouxsie sang power, the way Nico sang allure, the way Patti sang sex. Paul Quattrone makes the noise with two Akai MPC 1000 samplers. Beats that pummel or seduce, usually simultaneously, synths that soar like Morricone or pump like DAF, and gloriously twangy guitars that clang and echo like Duane Eddy spiraling down a k-hole.
Windish and Quattrone have history. They’ve lived and they’ve been in bands. Quattrone is a drummer in the current powerhouse Oh Sees lineup, which should be enough of a recommendation for anyone, but hey, this guy’s also been in !!! and Modey Lemon too. Windish cut her teeth in bands including the K-Holes and Golden Triangle, back in her native New York.
A chance reunion in Los Angeles led Quattrone and Windish to attempt the outlandish ambition of marrying her love for the genre-defying genius of Blondie’s Parallel Lines (the first cassette she ever owned) to Quattrone’s love of Bomb Squad’s production styles.
“I loved Parallel Lines when I was five,” Windish recalls. “Warm Drag is my first band that has the ability to blend genres up into a musical milkshake that remains uniform despite all of its parts. I can scream, dance, cry, rage and seduce, all in a single show.”
“I basically wanna make Bomb Squad versions of rock n roll songs,” Quattrone says. “It sounds weird but I can hear a common ground where girl groups, dub, harsh noise, minimal synth, repetitious industrial, voodoo percussion, power electronics, black leather jacket rock n roll and DJ Screw-inspired slowing down/pitching down of samples all meet.”
Lyrically, Warm Drag dive head-first into right now, careening from love to the end times, broken hearts to rotting bodies, devastation and lies and emotional self-defense. They have something to say, but they’d never be so gauche as to over-explain. Listen closely.
They’ve been winning over notoriously-inert Los Angeles audiences for a year now. An early show caught he eye of Ian Svenonius. “Their cut-up collage of electronic stomp-music embodied everything people were searching for that summer,” he remembers. “There were just two of them but the sound was magnificent. Vashti was a revelation and Paul looked tough and cool and preoccupied in just the right way. Let’s hope they achieve the success they deserve.”
Warm Drag are the soundtrack to the best night of your life. It probably hasn’t happened yet, or maybe it happened in Berlin, in 1980. You won’t remember much, but you still have this record, and a few bruises, to jolt your memory. Sangfroid has never been sexier.