A jangle-popster match made in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2006, Drug Rug features one girlfriend named Sarah Cronin, one boyfriend named Thomas Allen. The shamble guitar duo met slinging drinks at the in(die)famous Middle East nightclub, that led to demo swapping, and then some whiskey drinking, and many a twisted Byrds-meets-backwoods-blues harmonies.
Together the two's vocals, paired with their brand of sunshine lo-fi, teeter on the shrill end, a la the beginnings of electric-Dylan. But like the D-man, it fits seamlessly. Drug Rug's self-titled debut, out this week via the Black and Greene label, opens with a '50s A.M. radio effect, washing over Cronin's lyrics in treble, before exploding back into equilibrium with a furious blues-y breakdown chorus, "Nobody nowhere can tell you you're wrong (For the Rest of Your Life)." It sets the tone: sweet and smart, charming '60s-era pop spiked with erratic wails and modern indie rock sonics. There are some other recruits that flesh out a full-band sound, mainly Apollo Sunshine's Jesse Gallagher on bass and keys, and Mike Cummings (The Dead Trees) twanging about on strings, some anonymous tambourine smatterings. But the couple shines best with a simple guitar lick and a shared mic.