Anyone who’s driven through Draper, Utah knows there isn’t much there to put it on the map. Its claims to fame are relatively few, including being home to Utah’s first Ikea Store and professional golfer Mike Weir. It’s most renowned for being the place where convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed. But all of that is about to change.
The super-charged sister band Meg and Dia are about to release their debut full length Something Real. And if the EP What Is It? A Fender Bender is any indication of what the full length is like, Draper and the sister band it has spawned will have made their marks in the world.
What Is It? A Fender Bender is an extraordinarily powerful piece of emo/punk oriented music. Meg and Dia Frampton spill gallons of personal angst into the microphones recording this album, and pepper their style with equal amounts Joan Jett, early Slits and grrl rockers The Gits. It’s all wrapped up by the nicely packaged Frampton’s, who look like women you could bring home to mom, and then burn down the town with. Sisters Frampton are ably assisted by guitarist Kenji Chan, who produces some riveting, chunky tones a la ‘80s Neil Young, and the mellifluous rhythm of drummer Nick Price. Together, the quartet rips their way into your soul with the animus of starving wolves.
The opening song, “Monster,” is larger than life, with Price and Meg Frampton and Chan punching out a torrid backbeat which automatically sucks you into their world. Dia Frampton’s seemingly sweet vocals turn to a growl in seconds, turning melodic again in the bridge. “Indiana” ascends from a marvelous rev-up from Chan, and then follows a path to chorus supported by Meg’s lovely acoustic guitar. Track three is a self-produced demo of “What Are You Into?” which focuses on Meg and Dia alone. The last track, “Santa Barbara,” is another acoustic guitar entry that features Meg and Dia’s wondrous vocal harmonies. The EP also features a video of the opening track “Monster” as a bonus. Each song on What Is It? A Fender Bender shimmers like the sun against a backdrop of puffy clouds on a dry, Northern Utah day.
Draper is going to have to prepare itself for the wealth of fame heading its way. For a town known for the death of its most famous resident, Draper will experience life anew by its young denizens Meg and Dia. Don’t be too surprised if it becomes a haven for bands mining its depths to discover the rich vein of emotional gold that defines the sisters Frampton.