New Mexico five-piece Drastic Andrew’s new album Live Without Warning is a wonderfully apt title for the collection. While there is an arch traditionalist quality informing each song, Drastic Andrew’s high gloss production invests the collection with a contemporary sound that nevertheless remains faithful to their essentially purist vision. The band’s particular brand of Americana music certainly makes use of pop song craft to aid widening the material’s appeal, but their astute songwriting wrings a variety of interesting twists from those tropes. The twelve song collection, clocking in at a little less than fifty minutes in lengths, reminds any music devotee that bands often excel when they’re doing more with less. The clean, economical slant of Drastic Andrew’s music offers listeners a great deal.
Drastic Andrew, in the case of songs like “Alien Creature”, show a real skill for spinning familiar themes through unusual approaches while nevertheless offering listeners an unique experience each time out. Softer tracks like the title cut and “Every Minute of the Day” find Drastic Andrew restraining the guitars-first approach heard on the more rock-oriented tracks in favor of affecting, melodic affairs.
For a band that’s continued to weave through an eclectic range of genres and styles while still keeping a familiar tone and energetic approach to both their albums and live performances, Santa Fe’s Drastic Andrew has consistently packed a punch since their 2011 inception, and it seems they’re only getting warmed up. Thier live shows feature tight arrangements and lyrically earnest ballads and stories that give way to melodic jam-band ferocity.
Drastic Andrew’s third full length album, it becomes quickly clear that we’re in the hands of capable stylists who may trod familiar thematic ground, but have nonetheless discovered new ways of expressing timeless truths. It’s apparent that Drastic Andrew is serious musicians and performers, but their songwriting is the obvious product of tremendous talents and dedication.