Athens, Georgia-based band Rag Bags deliver a satiating rock appeal throughout their Sweet Talk EP. Comprising Tyler and Alex Nicholson alongside Ian Hemerlein, Rag Bags impress with a range of tonal pursuits — from the eerie post-punk brooding and grungy culmination within the EP’s title track to the ’90s alt-rock nostalgia on the opening “Narcan,” touting an abundance of delectable structural twists.
“Narcan” opens the EP with a sturdy ’90s alt-rock nostalgia, conjuring shades of Pavement in the whirring guitar tones and gripping vocal nonchalance. Panting percussion and wordless vocal backing combines during a climatic sequence, culminating in the “no one ever escapes,” hookiness. A twangy descension past the two-minute turn injects a gliding intrigue, strutting a more emotively haunting appeal. “Narcan” is exemplary of the band’s knack for melody and evolving structural charisma.
Angsty vocals and a bass-heavy propulsion lead the gripping “Sweet Talk,” with interspersing moments of raucous guitar invigorating lending to the sense of palpable momentum. “Sweet talk is cheap,” the vocals clamor during the invigorating chorus. The EP’s finale, “103,” continues the release’s consistent strengths — this time embracing a traversal from folk-friendly contemplation to psych-forward guitar twangs, as vocals complement a nighttime-driving search for solace. Sweet Talk is a stellar EP from Rag Bags.
These and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2023’ Spotify playlist.