Second wind

Drug Rug hit San Fran to record a new album
By MATT PARISH  |  August 2, 2010

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The good news is that 30 new Drug Rug songs are alive and well in a stack of incubator demo tapes somewhere. It might be a while before they hit your speakers, however.

 PHOTOS:Drug Rug at the MFA
"We played what we had for the label, and they were like, 'You could probably do better,' " says singer Sarah Cronin, taking a break from a vacation in Florida to fill us in over the phone. "They're very good with constructive criticism."

Drug Rug — the brainchild of Cronin and Tommy Allen — have specialized in frazzled Southern garage rock that plays out on stage like a backyard pick-up game, so it's hard to imagine their creative process not being full of thumbs up. Cronin and Allen trekked to San Francisco for two weeks earlier this summer to record the follow-up to 2009's excellent Paint the Fence Invisible (Black & Greene) at old buddy and Apollo Sunshine member Jeremy Black's studio, Coyote Hearing. And they piled on overdubs until 14 songs were in the can. "Me and Tommy have been playing just the two of us for a while now, demoing songs at home and even touring a little bit, and it's been fun," says Cronin. "We wrote a ton of songs together that way, which the label knew. So when they heard the record, as they put it, they were curious to hear what else we had."

So though in a way it's back to the drawing board, it could be good news for fans catching local shows (which includes a gig at the MFA tonight). In the meantime, Allen and his brother, John, assumed booking duties at Somerville dive P.A.'s Lounge, which has spent the past five years or so quietly holding down the title for Boston's most unlikely indie-rock tour stop.

Drug Rug eventually plan to build back into a full line-up — the new record is full of harmonies, organs, bass, and layers of overlapping guitars, so the translation to a two-piece could be a bit wonky. "Mainly," Cronin says, "we're just looking for somebody who would be fun to tour with."

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