Drug Church

Swell EP

Written by: PP on 10/02/2015 00:04:22

If bands like Title Fight, Daylight/Superheaven and Basement haven't already cued you into this, then Drug Church probably will. 90s influence is back within the modern music scene with elements from the original grunge, hardcore, alternative rock and post-hardcore scenes permeating new records in every imaginable way possible. On "Swell" EP, which follows their critically acclaimed debut album "Paul Walker", Drug Church continue to source their primary inspiration from the original greats of post-hardcore in the 90s, from the gritty, unmelodic and oddly awkward soundscapes of Quicksand and, of course, from the indie-flavored hardcore experimentalism of Fugazi. However, these are but mere influences applied through a punk/hardcore filter that has earned Drug Church quite a reputation for their energetic and impassioned live performances that we've already evidenced on this side of the pond at Groezrock among other places

The primary focal point on "Swell" is, once again, the spoken word style, rambled vocals of Patrick Kindlon. His piercing style creates an intriguing dynamic as it borrows half of its energy from punk-fueled hardcore bands like Good Clean Fun, and yet merges that rage together with more soothing, charred post-hardcore grunts and shouts where the vocals are clearly decipherable all the way through. It's an angry expression that allows for explosive energy, which is only fortified by the relatively fast-paced instrumentation found on the record. These range from Title Fight style pedal overload (see: "Ghost Dad" or "Zero Zero") to more quirky, experimentalist instrumentation such as that on the EP opener "But Does It Work?". Classic quiet/loud dynamic at work there.

At the same time, the production leaves everything nicely unpolished and raw in the mix. This means that Kindlon's scratchy vocals sound all the more ravaging on record and that the guitars have proper edge to them. Even the bass lines are vivid despite the purposefully cacophonic production values. The end result is a soundscape that's just as unfriendly and, dare I say it, ugly as the beloved Quicksand and Fugazi ones from the 90s, but that's just part of the charm. The depth-laden songs ensure that once they grow on you, the underlying melodies impress with their detail despite the muddy ideals overall. Classic grunge rock influence thus lurks right underneath the surface, even if it is enshrouded in punk/hardcore rage throughout. An acquired taste, for sure, but once you get it, you really get it.

Download: Work-Shy, But Does It Work?
For the fans of: Quicksand, Fugazi, Good Clean Fun, Crime In Stereo
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.02.2015
No Sleep Records

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