In a Million Pieces
The Draft is three-fourths of Gainesville, Florida’s post-hardcore stalwarts Hot Water Music, featuring Todd Rockhill, previously of Discount and Unitas on second guitar. While the touchstones for Hot Water Music’s rousing sound were Jawbox and Leatherface, The Draft draws from a wider pool of influences, combining elements of hard rock, post-punk and a little bit of everything else, while showcasing a remarkable ability to write catchy, melodic tunes and huge, anthemic choruses. The album opens with “New Eyes Open,” which features a guitar line influenced by mid-’90s DC post-punk building to a monster chorus. “Let It Go,” has a great Clash reggae groove with understated organ and another great shouted chorus. In A Million Pieces rewards repeated listens, with different background elements that might go unnoticed at first listen — the horns in the background of “Wired,” a heavy, driving rock song, the Cars-like keyboards in “Bordering,” and what I swear is a xylophone hidden in there somewhere. With all the chances The Draft take, they are still able to write excellent churning punk songs like “Not What I Wanna Do,” which along with the album’s opener features memorable hooky choruses. On their debut album, The Draft have seamlessly blended disparate elements that signal great things in the future.
Epitaph Records: www.epitaph.com