Two years and countless live shows since the release of their demo, Lady Drama’s debut full-length Aftermath is an honest offering from the Seattle four-piece. A self-produced labor of love, Aftermath doesn’t land clearly in one place, hopping among genres and styles from one song to the next, but communicates a talent for strong songwriting from a capable crew.
The diverse background of Barry Corliss—the ubiquitous Seattle engineer who mastered the album and has worked with everyone from Jake One and Blue Scholars to Modest Mouse and Laura Veirs—is evident throughout, as Aftermath flirts with indie pop, soulful folk, atmospheric lo-fi, and even horn-infused klezmer rock without committing to any one in particular. “Dona Nobis” recalls the reverb-soaked arrangements of Jeff Buckley, while the closing track “Letter Goodbye” plays with the more anthemic moments of a band like Neutral Milk Hotel.
What truly shines on this nine-track disc is frontman Mike Hamm’s confident vocals and the band’s lyrics. The modestly arranged harmony of “Herculaneum” is pretty, and its soft-spoken words (“You’re just an animal/A parakeet in a cage/And if you sing to me of love/It’s just that you’re well-trained”) reveal an agile wit with enough weight to carry the band further into the spotlight.