A nasal whine with a simple fuzz-guitar backing is hardly rocket science - weren't we here in 1992? - but 'Kevin Is Gay' doesn't require any noticeable originality to succeed in charming the listener. Annie Hardy's vocals aren't an acquired taste as such, but those unmoved by such a rough-edged screech are unlikely to go the three-minute distance; those not bothered by a little imperfection will find 'Kevin Is Gay' an inoffensive - title aside, perhaps - pop-rock song to warm the winter-chilled cockles. Hardy goes over some numbers - they're all she needs - and makes meow noises 'til fade. It's sweet, y'know, but so what?
Better, though, is b-side 'Swan Song': Hardy steps away from the microphone a little, and the air between lips and metal comes alive. An almost apologetic sigh at the end of occasional sentences and another simple composition - begins quiet and delicate, gets louder, ends - aren't the traits of musical mavericks, granted, but (if you hadn't already sussed) that's not Giant Drag's bag: the duo (Micah Calabrese plays Meg to Annie's Jack, if you like) make nice music for rockers regularly deafened by their preferences, utilising amplification sparingly and craftily and never overpowering their audience with unnecessary noise when their melodies stand strongly alone, if simply so.
Annie's own comical remark at the end of 'Swan Song' - "I'm not a big Giant Drag fan" - only endears the pair further, before a slowly pounding 'Stuff To Live For' - pretty enough but critically unremarkable save for the loudest drums on the release - rounds this package off nicely enough. They, as with all ROCKers, probably wouldn't/shouldn't take too kindly to being considered both inoffensive and nice, but for once such seemingly halfhearted appreciation is actually intended as a complement.
6Mike Diver's Score