Drug Church - Tawny

28 Jun 2021 - Sebastian

Hardcore, Punk | Pure Noise Records | Release date: 25 Jun 2021

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Drug Church are back! Before their next studio album next year, we get an EP as an appetizer and now I am really hungry for more.

It’s been three years since their last album Cheer and we still got to wait another year for a new album, but the American five piece was kind enough to release this four song ep, with a combined length of just over eleven minutes. This is shorter than a single song from some albums we review here.

The four songs are actually only two new songs, with another being the single ”Bliss out” released in 2020 and a cover of Arcwelder’s ”Remember to forget”. Does this stop one from enjoying the (self-)destructive, melancholic music of Drug Church? Hell no!

The first song “Head-Off” starts off with a wavy sound, that’s still as dirty as we are used to, and combined with the, at first, very unemotional vocals, creates this feeling of indifference. Once you start listening to the lyrics, singer Patrick Kindlon shows his true strength. They are packed with cynicism and irony. This song is already peak Drug Church and serves as a great entrance to this release.

”Tawny” is the second song and lends its name as the title of the ep. “But this one is more joyous and happy, isn’t it?” Well, if one thinks or hopes so, he or she clearly has not listened to this band a lot. Their songs are full of nihilism and this underlying sense of dread. Kindlon has this very distinct style of “singing”, which is a mixture of spoken word, shouting and singing, but not quite either of them. ”Let’s laugh ourselves to death / I can’t help myself and I won’t try”. This isn’t happy music for happy people.

Though ”Bliss Out” is already a year old, it has lost none of its dark perspective on the world we live in. In some parts it sounds so indifferent to the loss of the narrator, that it is almost sarcastically funny. The song structure is punkier than the first two, with fuzzy guitars and hard hitting drums and some “breakdowns”, with the old nemesis, the cowbell.

The ep ends with the cover of Arcwelder’s ”Remember to forget” and leaves the listener unsettled, but also somehow feeling ok. The beautiful thing with Drug Church is, you can enjoy their music and not feel down, when you don’t explicitly pay attention to the lyrics. Once you do, their songs really unfold and they become even better, though the positivity felt before listening closely might be gone.

We can really be looking forward to what they will bring to the table with their album next year. ”Palm reader warns me, ‘More of this shit.’ ”. Well that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?