On "RAH," Better Forever's excellent opening track, there's a bit of Perry Farrell in Zacery Stanley's lead vocals. In Amanda Mason Wiles' fuzzy-sassy back-up vocals on the same track, there's a bit of Kim Gordon. But chasing influences is a dangerous game to play with Dramady, best described as an indie-synth-psychedelic pop duo from Portland.
"RAH" opens with sounds resembling a robot orchestra tuning, then Stanley adds the drums and Mason's bass gets rolling, inducing the listener to dance a little head-bobbing chair dance and mumble along with the mysterious lyrics.
The better tunes on Better Forever are not only danceable but sing-able too, despite, or maybe because of, a high level of lyrical nonsense. The best song, "Train," has the kind of dreamy, repetitive insistence that I associate with pleasant journeys. It's already on my winter travel mix, and it'll probably be the soundtrack to my old-lady carving rhythm on Snowbowl's T-bar runs this weekend.
Like most good albums, Better Forever has its hits and misses—a few tunes are just too goofy for me—but the majority of the album is a perfect weapon against the holly jolly hell of Christmas carols into which we are about to descend. As the band suggests, just "follow the train-train tracks."
Dramady plays the Badlander Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 9 PM with Dan Dubuque. Free.