Free Drugs (n / a)

Texas Platters


Free Drugs (Female Fantasy)

Former Tucsonites Harlem are sitting on a pretty crowded bench in Austin, "garage rock" having become the current nom de guerre for anything that sounds "lo-fi," gritty, or as if it were recorded on "druuuugs, man." The trio's not breaking any new lyrical ground on its local debut: The band sings about girls, drugs, and ... well, that's it really. Happily, there's an anxious, stuttering charm to Free Drugs, tightly coiled with punchy, solid songs and memorable hooks. The coulda-been-written-in-1965 bomp of "Caroline" and "Irresistable" are insta-catchy under the band's stripped-down ooh-ahs. "Psychedelic Tits" pays lip service to a girl's magical mammaries, singer Michael Coomers calling them "the color of a rainbow" over a witchy guitar riff, while "Think I'm Thinkin Bout" goes down like polished candy dug from the Cramps' sweaty armpit. "I'm on Drugs," true to its name, is a hit of tempo change and gunky fuzz in less than two minutes, and the "Red Herring" line, "Tell me girl where'd you sleep last night, and don't you lie," catches efficacy with a buzz-saw menace. In 12 songs, Free Drugs manages retro-replication without Harlem sounding confined to a two-car you-know-what.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Harlem
Texas Platters
Oh Boy (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Hippies (Record Review)

Austin Powell, April 9, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle