Drug Church - Hygiene

04 Mar 2022 - Sebastian

Hardcore, Punk | Pure Noise Records | Release date: 11 Mar 2022 | Favorite song: Premium Offer

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Drug Church’s EP was one of my earlier reviews for Veil of Sound, so it is nice to kind of come back to that with the release of their new album. In my review I wrote that it left me hungry for more, so let’s find out if Hygiene is enough to still my hunger.

This album was highly anticipated, because it’s already been over three years since Cheer and there is hardly any other band that comes close to the very distinct sound and feel Drug Church have. From the first note of ”Fun’s Over” you should feel right at home on this release. The vocals are still as rough as they’ve always been, the guitar’s gain is turned up to eleven and the drums are as pounding as they can be. The sound of Hygiene is not a revolution but rather a small evolution. The album sounds just different enough from Cheer that you don’t get bored of more of the same and still home in on their strengths. Some part of that certainly has to do with the The Cure-like bass shining through on songs like ”Detective Lieutenant”, which is a very good example for how their sound has evolved. It is much more tame in the instrumentation, but with its huge chorus and socially-commenting lyrics it is “prime Drug Church”. ”Tiresome” on the other hand is much faster and louder than its predecessor. It’s songs like these when the band really shines. It is music from outsiders for outsiders (and everyone else of course).

My favorite song of the album however is ”Premium Offer”. Musically it is just so much fun and weirdness condensed into just under three minutes. What is always interesting though, is when you look beyond the instrumentation and the sound of a track and start to listen to the lyrics and suddenly the whole song gets a totally different meaning. I feel like Drug Church are masters of this kind of subversion of one’s expectation. “Hey it’s a joyous song, so the lyrics are probably about having fun and all.” Well, probably not.

With ”Athlete on Bench” we already arrive at the last song, of this surprisingly short album despite its ten tracks. The good thing is that you can just start the record over again, because rather than going for quantity, Drug Church focused on quality and they certainly achieved this goal.

This hardcore album has something for anybody who is into this kind of music or even has the slightest interest in said genre. There is so much to discover within and between the lyrics and the instrumentation, which at first glance might sound like a muddy, crunchy mess but you can always find more depth with every listen and after a few it grabs you by the collar and won’t let you leave again. Let’s just hope that the next album doesn’t take another three years.