I listen to this album quite a lot, but haven't got very much to say about it. That sounds mean - it's a really good album, but I just have no interesting stories about it. If this blog were more about music reviews than it is me reminiscing about music then I might be able to comment on the things that make it a record I like to play a lot, but it's not.
The Draft were the band that guys in Hot Water Music who aren't Chuck Ragan formed after he left the band. I heard about them around the end of university, as a friend's band got a spot supporting them in Cardiff, or possibly Newport or Swansea; South Wales for sure. They were pretty excited, all being big HWM fans. The comparisons to HWM are easy to make, but I'd say it's a much easier listen than a lot of HWM records - there are big choruses and hooks and I know what they're singing some of the time. New Eyes Open is a huge way to start the album, and Alive or Dead, Bordering and Longshot are all brilliantly catchy. The highlight for me is Wired with the horn section lifting the chorus even further. Days after listening to In A Million Pieces, I find the chorus of Wired in my head, but that's never a bad thing. All We Can Count On is a strangely positive and upbeat song given that the chorus is "All we can all count on is death". There are great songs throughout, which is probably why I turn to it so often. I have no idea if it has as high a standing in the punk community in general as it does within my record collection.
I picked this copy up in Damaged Record in March of 2008, the second in my monthly-record-from-Damaged year (I didn't start it until February it seems). At £9 it was a bargain then and even moreso now. The vinyl is a purple-ish marble, which doesn't remotely narrow down which pressing it's from, not that it really matters.
I got a chance to see The Draft at Fest in 2013 which was great fun. I'd been listening to these songs for five years at that point and I really enjoyed jumping around to them. We'd already watched Lemuria, Paul Baribeau and The Underground Railroad to Candyland, and afterwards watched Obits, Toys That Kill and The Bouncing Souls. It was quite a day.
Format: 12", A3 insert
Cost: £9 new
Bought: Damaged Records, Cardiff
Colour: Purple marble
Etching: Side A: "Welcome to the zoo" Side B: "The zoo needs you"