Rough Draft (EP) by Psychopath Etiquette
Southern Maine’s Paul and David Sprague are Psychopath Etiquette and their first EP together is called Rough Draft. And for a debut you would find that a very appropriate title by now and thing someone would’ve come up with it before, but these two brothers have their own original magic and they spark some of it up here. They’ve both played in other projects and now have this EP to start what is a cool and very thought-provoking folk-rock band. It’s the simple things that get under your skin the most, and they define that approach to music on six laid back but lyrically self-aware tracks.
“Trash (Treasure)” is a treat from the get-go, it’s just what the doctor ordered during the lockdown with these two gifted musicians providing a truly well-crafted number straight out of the gate. The humility of being the trash to your partner’s treasure is where this song wins big if you listen closely to the lyrics. Nothing gets by if you don’t, but it’s all in the words and not everyone listens to all the meanings of a song and still manage to enjoy it somehow. These words will stick for anyone who’s even been in a good or bad relationship.
The contrast brought on by the next track, “Life” is what Rough Draft has to offer up plenty of, with a mix of ups and downs as it goes the distance and plays long for only containing six tracks on this power packed EP. You don’t expect every other track to jump out at you until they do, but it’s worth noting before you hear it because it is either something you like or don’t like about a release and this one enjoyably plays almost like it is a two sided EP that way.
“All My Time” starts off with a keyboard noise at the intro and you almost think it’s going to be outside of the folk rock box most of the EP fits into, but then it goes into another Sprague brothers standard of the usual proportion. I like the way it builds unlike the others and the percussion carries it along with a bounce, and the vocals do the rest. It’s about doing what it takes including all your time and money to earn love and keep it around. The vocals are the most heartfelt of any on the Rugh Draft disc.
These brothers seems to be rockers at heart but have more to say than the average rock songs usually can, so they also show their harder side on “Heart Vs. Head” where things get a lot more playful than serious, without losing that edge of seriousness found in most of the songs. But the seriousness does come back a little harder on the single of choice and final cut. “When Anxieties Attack” is worth the price of admission, but you have to listen your way through to the center of the EP and eventually to the closing sentiments to fully appreciate it and this musically dynamic duo.