Imagine this: being buried up to your neck and fed spoonfuls of sand by some denim-shirted, cowboy-booted, ten-gallon-hatted freak driving a spiffy El Camino through the American badlands. As he smirks you can feel his beady little eyes shining from behind his oversized sunglasses, and you’re flooded by waves of panic, confusion, and a sort of sick complicit joy…

This is exactly how fucking UNREAL The Ukiah Drag‘s 12″ is – it pitches back and forth from desert-maddened psych to melodic post-punk and takes you along for the whole ride. The album opens with thick crunchy guitar licks that hit like hot gusts. As “The Rats Waltz” unfolds, swaying from minor to major and back again, spacy guitar bends and stringy basslines weave the desert scene before slipping, interlocking guitarwork pulls the song into a brief booming melodic vein. “Downpour” starts as a dirge infected with static and howling feedback, creeping into something that sounds like a moonlit stalker-song. The buzzing electronic swells of “Open Letter” combine with sparse tribal drumbeats and what I can only assume are digital chameleons hissing away; the whole effort is disorienting and terrifying, and even more so when some shred of a consistent guitar or keyboard line saunters through the mix only to leave you all alone again. But your savior comes to your rescue in the form of “Nina Came Knockin'”, pulling you out of that sick bastard’s trap to soothe you with a hot meal and some strung-out, downhome bluesy tunes. Scope it here and jump on the Katorga Works pressings before they run out – this 12″ and the original tape are hard to find so don’t dilly-dally.

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