|Get up, get gone, and shake your ass. The Drapes are a Chicago three piece straight from the family tree of fuck you punk blues, Ali saying "what's my name," and a wild, hopped up night of gin and juice that Bon Scott would stay cold cocked for in the back seat of a '64 Impala. You got no pretenders to the alterna throne here cats and kittens, just a full frontal assault of rock and roll that offers some from the past, enough from the present, and a road dog's eye on the next stop down the road apiece.
Kevin McDonough (gtr/vocals), Andrea Jablonski (bass/vocals), and Bob Spelbring (drums) are a well oiled machine of rhythm and thump, an experienced band with a steady ethic of giving it their all. Unlike a lot of contemporary "rock" groups, they put all that preening and fake brood muck in a gunny sack, toss it up against your daughter's window, and make her tie the sheets to the bed to get out.
After a successful year of touring, twisting from Chicago to SXSW to both coasts, they are currently supporting their new release Swollen on Orange Recordings out of LA and are a must see act. With an eye on keeping the gas tank full, they look to 2004 as a chance to continue to spread the gospel, add the nasty slider low and away, and take a deserved piece of the pie.
"The Drapes just might make you feel dirty, like the Stones might have done to so many schoolgirls in 1967."
"They take the ruff edges of this punk-rock based mutant musical love child and make it unique and as smooth as the baby's ass itself."
"Imagine Jon Spencer and L7 have a one night stand, and this is what you get."
|If you dig The Drapes you might enjoy Cash Audio, Geraldine or Them Wranch|
|New City | June 6 2002
"...one of the most underappreciated rock bands based in Chicago, are also on the bill; a few months ago I heard them play with their new drummer and I was floored by this trio's hardboiled, blues based, fusion of garage, psychedelic and punk- in another words a real rock trio!"
- Tony Barnet
A Review by Lance Drake
This cataclysmic three piece of Kevin McDonough (gtr/lead vocals), Andrea Jablonski (bass/vocals), and Bob Spelbring (drums/traps/wrath of Satan?s second skins) comes at ya like Mississippi thunderstorm in August, all hot and bothered. Musically, they put a more authentic boot on the faux pig shit stomp of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, harkening back to the real deal vibe he had with ?Extra Width.? They also have enough hook in them to make you remember the tunes without having to go home and try and pry the bubblegum out of your brain. What I like about them as performers is that there is some kinda Ike and Tina thing going on here (sans spousal abuse) that just turns the heat up even more. Kevin?s guitar playing is rhythm at heart, but the man can burn it down with the best of all non-guitar heroes, shoot the thrill, and kill the wankers in under 60 seconds. Andrea, and I say this with all due respect: her pussy rocks! I think she and Kim Gordon would get on famously together and her presence and playing on stage are not from any doll house, baby. Bob, well, imagine that the spirit of Keith Moon was shot like a diamond bullet into his. The man can beat the hell outta that kit, but the beauty of his playing is that gut bucket, pile driver of constant beat and shuffle only he can call his own.
The Drapes, from Chicago and into some foreseeable beyond
Illinois Entertainer, Around Hear | January 2002
While at 2001's anniversary celebration for Chicago's Finest Hour, I was fortunate to catch The Drapes. As with every Chicago Finest Hour, all the bands were exceptional as they cover other Chicago band's music. After getting a taste live, one song, from The Drapes, I called around to get my hands on their CD. Their 2001 release, Swollen, represents some of the finest garage rock music reminiscent of The Blacks (which is no surprise as band member Kevin McDonough is the brother of The Black's lead singer/guitarist Danny Black.) The dirty guitars and rough vocals propelled by the very heavy rhythm section make this band a great listen and an energetic one to see live. The rhythm-driven "Billy Bones" exemplifies what they do best, rock out in a sloppy, yet orderly way. Though they've been around since 1999, I've only had the chance to see that one song live, and I can't wait to see them live and around town more often.
- Althea Legaspi
South By Southwest Music and Media Conference | San Antonio Express-News
Music conference bands make stops in S.A.
By Jim Beal Jr.
Baghdad Bombers, The Perturbed, The Drapes, Boxed Up, SC Dreamgirls; Taco Land: The Drapes, a trio from Chicago, play a jangling-guitar brand of blues-informed garage rock that'll sound as if it was born inside Taco Land. Most of the rest of this bill was born inside of Taco Land.
First up this week is a Chicago-based trio that will be making a Chattanooga appearance very soon. The band consists of singer/songwriter Kevin McDonough on the vocals, Andrea Jablonski on the bass, and Todd Osborne on the drums. This hard rocking power triplet has toured the East coast and Midwest pretty extensively in the recent past.
The Drapes have a very raw and unfinished sound that could be classified somewhere between garage-sounding rocking blues and powerful pop. Being from Chi-town, it is not surprising to hear similarities between them and some of Steve Albini creations, such as Shellac and Big Black. But The Drapes change it up a bit and add some gristly vocals and a bit of a Southern rock teaser thrown into the mix. Don't you just love that Midwest/Chicago sound! They take the ruff edges of this punk-rock based mutant musical love child and make it unique and as smooth as the baby's ass itself. Imagine Jon Spencer and L7 have a one night stand, and this is what you get. email@example.com
Overall, I thought that this was a pretty good CD. It had some great tunes. Most of them had poppy and catchy line and choruses that I found myself humming after the disc was over. The musicianship of these guys and gals is very impressive. They have a sound consistency throughout the disc that would be easily recognized. I just didn't realized how much rock three people could put out. Man, was I impressed. For all of you out there that enjoy garage-sounding blues, with a leaning to the rock side, you should check out their up-coming show...because I sure am.
The Chicago Reader
This up-and-coming trio sent me a very promising demo for a forthcoming album. It's an invigorating shot of swigging, swaggering, high-speed, blues punk, played with reckless virtuosity. They have a way with a groove that many experienced bands of this sort would kill for..."
- Monica Kendrick
"...we have alot of John Doe and Exene (Cervenka) going on here..."
New City, Chicago
"...for a live show the Drapes amp it up quite a bit, almost venturing into an intellimetal romp..."
"...more kick than a keg of tequila..."
"...they're not a speed band, not a schtick band. They play rock n roll - straight up, dirty and with feeling. Honestly, the freshest breath of rock air I've heard in months..."
- Dave Chamberlain
New City, Chicago
"...the Drapes play rowdy rock music, straight up. Drums are loud, but not death metal loud or busy; the bass-drum rhythm section complement the single guitar, played by Mcdonough with a touch of bluesy Southern rock, power pop, and the occasional punk rock buzz saw.
Most striking, however, is Mcdonough's voice. His tone is an effortless drawl, giving the Drapes a slurry, slacker front. He sounds alternately disinterested and angry, but so much in the punk rock vein as to have - dare I say it - a Cobain manner, especially on Girltone, a loud rock song with a southern touch and a great laconic chorus; I can't stop listening to it."
- Dave Chamberlain
Encore, Wilmington, North Carolina | November 1, 2001
Chicago garage rockers The Drapes will be at the Firebelly on Saturday, Nov. 3 with the Cigar Store Indians. According to a Buffalo weekly, the Lounge Ax veterans are "punky roadhouse blues." I would venture to further posit that The Drapes are a burlesque trio dressed up in rock-n-roll clothes' which is a fine thing, indeed. Throbbing, raw and eager without being abrasive or painful, The Drapes just might make you feel dirty, like the Stones might have done to so many schoolgirls in 1967. Bring it on!
RIVERFRONTTIMES.COM | November 14, 2001
The Drapes with the Monroes
Saturday, Nov. 17; Frederick's Music Lounge
By Roy Kasten
If guitar/bass/drum bands seem, like, so 1992; if punk has been much co-opted by Game-Boy slackers; if Courtney Love is babbling about enlisting in the Marines to go waste some Afghani ass; if rock & roll itself has too often choked on its own coifed, pierced and made-over vomit; or if your own butt just needs a good, loud kicking, then, o young at heart and sturdy of eardrum, do not miss the Drapes.A power-punk trio in the line of the Jam or the recently defunct Blacks, the Drapes currently reside in Chicago, and on their forthcoming Shine On, Sweetheart they blow through the rank raunch of politics and sex and booze, leaving behind sweat and venom and a few smashed Lynyrd Skynyrd albums. The nastiest edges of redneck blues can be heard in Kevin McDonough's twangy howl and guitar tone, but there's none of Southern rock's stoned indulgence. The Drapes have their balls too close to the wall for that. And that includes bassist Andrea Jablonski and drummer Todd Osborne, who seem to sacrifice at the altar of Sabbath with every bone-flogging bass line and tom break. The Drapes have the rock, and they're not afraid to use it. Go.
Bloomington Herald-Times | Entertainment: 2001/11/16
This is a slow week for shows as the city winds down for Thanksgiving. One thing I've noticed in the seven years I've lived here is that Bloomington is a place people leave for holidays, rather than a place they travel to for them. The city can resemble a ghost town during these winter holidays. But if you search a bit, there are a few musical gems here and there.
That's one of the great things about Bloomingtonthere is always music going on here, whether in the clubs, recital halls or basements. It's there; sometimes it?s just a little harder to find. Part of the fun is in the digging.
Plant your shovel. The Drapes perform tonight at the Cellar Lounge. The three-piece Chicago band plays a hard-wired rock/punk/blues hybrid that also borrows liberally from early grunge. Superfuzz-era Mudhoney or even the Laughing Hyenas are good comparisons, but the Drapes take their music in other directions, too, melding blistering guitar work, howling vocals and a rock-solid rhythm section into a singular voice, a sound straight out of last call at the local dive bar.
Bloomington Independent | November 15, 2001
Spreading the Curtains
A couple months back at Chicago's Hideout, The Drapes covered a few songs from fellow Windy City patron Curtis Mayfield. Not sure how it went down, but judging from their self-released sophomore album Shine on Sweetheart it surely kept the waters hot with the type of "funk" Shellac can lay into. Before we get further, though, and you think the Drapes are a dime-a-dozen, chug-a-chug macho game, let's back track into that wondersome big city blues and grit that The Drapes are working at.
Formed by Kevin McDonough in '97, a few members slipped through his hands until he convinced Andrea Jablonski to learn the bass and join up with drummer Todd Osborne. Nurse Diesel, an early recording, was cut with the help of everyone's favorite Blacks, Gin and Danny, and the Renfields' Al. While The Drapes may run the race with the Bloodshot sound that Bloomingtonites drink themselves drunk for, their souls seem to be deeply inlayed with a foundation of rock n' roll that covers up the country leanings, while letting enough twang and howling dog talk through to give you reason to dawn a belt-buckle or 10-gallon top-hat for their show. McDonough's blues bending is surprisingly rich for being the group's only guitarist, taking the lead lines and filling the backfield on recordings. The blues he's seeping from the six-strings is more mutated like the kind X weaved through Los Angeles and Wild Gift, an attempt to grow from punks? miss-steeping and simplicity.
While my copy of Shine on Sweetheart lacks any titles, I can say Song 7 digs a 6-foot ditch with Jablonski?s bass riffing and the Sabbath-like heaviness all three push into before the glass breaks and the lone guitar walks a jagged soul line. While comparisons are always lame, and I have dropped enough already, let's end with this: The Drapes are going to be racking up points across the country in the next two years. If you find yourself wishing the Hangdogs got dirtier, walked on all fours and chased skirts (or at least sang about it), then catch The Drapes.Eric Weddle
The Drapes play Cellar Loung 10 pm Friday. Starpiss opens. Cover is $4.