No Sleep Records
23 July 2013
by Ollie Connors
Named after the Hollywood star of the same name, the title Drug Church have chosen for their debut full-length proves to be an extremely apt one, as, like Walker’s most famous film role, this is fast and indeed, furious. The Albany, NY quintet, who feature Patrick Kindlon of Self Defense Family (formerly known as End of a Year), will strike a chord with those who still hold a torch for 90s grunged-up post-hardcore.
As aforementioned, Kindlon is furious here, but it’s hard to pin down exactly what exactly is inducing his ire. Scattergun barbs ring out throughout Paul Walker in short, terse statements, but none of these jabs hit a specific target, and thus become ineffectual. There may not be so many bands around currently that do what Drug Church do, for which they could warrant a credit for originality, but the riffs on show here are very basic – which, of course, is de rigeur for this style of punk rock, but after a while, makes this a monotonous affair. Stripping things back and paring hardcore punk down to its bare bones is all well and good, but combined with impotent lyrics, this becomes a very ordinary record.
Individual moments show flashes of greatness, such as the driving nature of ‘Shopping For A Belt’, or the filthy bass of ‘Donny Woods’, but these sparks of life are quickly snuffed by an all-consuming presence of dour and one-dimensional tedium. This project seems to serve Kindlon’s idea of himself as a mouthpiece for the cynical, the jaded and the misanthropic, but the onslaught of his inconsequential schadenfreude quickly becomes a chore to consume, even over this record’s fairly short discourse – this might be a more concentrated example of inflated self-worth over 25 minutes than Billy Corgan’s managed in his entire career.
Listen to ‘Donny’s Woods’ by Drug Church:
A rare misstep for the normally sublime No Sleep Records (well, until they release TRC’s new album in the USA…), Paul Walker‘s interesting premise turns out to be bland and uninventive, and Kindlon’s unrelenting misery makes this all the more undesirable. ‘Mohawk’, the track featuring Jeremy Bolm of Touché Amoré from the preceding self-titled EP, showed great early promise for this side-project, but the album significantly fails to deliver.
Sounds Like: If the Jaded Punk Hulk Twitter account made a record
Standout Tracks: Shopping For A Belt, Donny’s Woods, Deconstructing Snapcase