(Album Review) “Makes Good Choices” by The 1984 Draft

Out of Dayton, Ohio is a band that mixes garage rock, indie rock with some succinct songwriting and wordplay with an Americana feel called The 1984 Draft.  Under the tutelage and guidance of Pat Himes(Ryan Adams), the band is set to release their latest record entitled “Makes Good Choices”.

The 1984 Draft have quite the resume for being a band out of Dayton.  The band has shared the stage with the likes of Andrew W.K., Every Time I Die, Murder By Death, and Off With Their Heads.  This is where their resume gets more unique in comparison to the majority of the bands that I’ve covered.  In 2014, The 1984 Draft released their EP entitled “Bo Jackson Up The Middle” and the band was featured on the NFL Network’s documentary of the actual 1984 NFL Draft, which Irving Fryar, WR out of Nebraska, was selected number one overall by the New England Patriots.  The coverage from the NFL Network’s documentary led them to features by New Noise Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Omaha World Herald, and Ghettoblaster Magazine.

“Makes Good Choices” starts off with what seems to be the beginning of a storyline with the song “Jan Kowalski”.  “When you’re four years old/every song is about Jan Kowalski” croons Joe Anderl(vocalist/guitarist) in somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek fashion.  Based upon the story, The 1984 Draft seems to tell a story of Midwestern Americana that talks about the townie that every knows and it seems to be an ode to this woman.  “Jan Kowalski” is a fun/snappy track that serves as a proper introduction to “Makes Good Choices”.

The album quickly transitions into the track “Lately”.  The rhythm section is catchy and infectious as Justin Satinover(drums) and Chip Heck(bass) provides the driving force for The 1984 Draft in this song.  The guitar licks are tasty as well.  The song seems to talk about this desperation of needing it to slow down and taking in the moments with the ones that you love instead of always rushing just to live life all of the time.  I definitely appreciate that theme in the record as far too often, we get caught in the trap of rushing through life and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses.

The album is certainly for fans of groups such as Husker Du, The Replacements, with modern day The Wonder Years thrown into the mix.  The storytelling is infectious, the choruses are catchy and the arrangements are quite tasty with enough variety to satisfy even the most critical palate.  This is just an excellent effort by The 1984 Draft as “Makes Good Choices” gets 8.5/10 stars.  Check out the track listing below.

  1.  Jan Kowalski
  2.  Lately
  3.  Miss Ohio
  4.  Morrissey Of Mandys
  5.  Honest
  6.  Wedding
  7.  Lutheran Heat
  8.  Red Dress
  9.  Megaphone
  10.  Lisbon Falls

Below is some footage of their performance for the documentary on the NFL Network.

On Saturday, August 25th, The 1984 Draft will be having their record release show at South Park Tavern in Dayton, Ohio.  For tickets and further information on the show, click here.

Fans can find The 1984 Draft on Facebook at www.facebook.com/The1984Draft


Author: madnesstocreation

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