Drug Church

Hit Your Head

Written by: HES on 28/12/2015 15:57:42

Drug Church's EP "Paul Walker” is one of my favorite 90's-influenced punk-releases. The follow-up EP "Swell” received moderate praise and overall it seems the band is on their way to fully form their expression. The soundscape of "Hit Your Head” is finally evolving beyond angry hardcore, to angry hardcore with emotional ambitions.

The strength of Drug Church has always been Patrick Kindlon's spoken word style ramblings, that in spite of their aggression also come off lethargic – on the first records, Kindlon comes off as a nihilist – which is to some extend powerful, but extremely one-noted. Whereas "Hit Your Head” will never be a collection of easy-listening love songs, it does work with more emotions than just anger: It perfectly embraces the inner world of Kindlon's anxiety and chaos, but the nuances are allowed more space on tracks like "Park And Ride And Park And Ride”, which experiments with new elements like contrasting, soft, female choir.

Whereas the melodic elements of the former releases seem more accidental, it actually seems like the band has been aware of the flatness of Kindlon's vocals which the guitar and bass on "Hit Your Head” try to challenge more actively with simple, catchy lines. Especially the guitar is allowed more room on for an example "Big and Shitty” and "Hit Your Head, Greedy” whereas the most recognizable instrument on the previous releases was bass. On the latter song, the heavy, springy basslines of Pat Wynne still get to set the mood, playing call and response to Cory Galusha's guitar.

But what really carries this album from mediocre to great is still Kindlon's storytelling. Most of the time angry at the surrounding society, not understanding its, to him, aimlessness and anxiety - always told from the perspective of society as it scrutinizes him: "Well, aren't you just the Aleister Crowley of bad neighborhoods? Aren't you just the dark spirit of the liquor store?". The crescendo of Kindlon's ramblings is the spoken-word closer "What”, where Kindlon's voice turns strangely dramatic, as he narrates the out-of-character day of a member of "the establishment”. The solitude of childhood growing up in suburbia is boiling right beneath the surface with lines like "In the checkout line you listen to a couple talk about their child like he's a termite infestation. They seemed to want to go home even less than you do."

Kindlon achieves, with very little color, to paint a vivid picture of the gray world he feels is opposing him. His work with perspectives in the narration is almost at the level of William Faulkner's Sourthern Gothics – a potent stream of consciousness. "Hit Your Head” will not make you want to fight the power, it will just make you want to fight. The aggression contradicted by extreme sluggishness makes for an extremely powerful mood. It is beautiful and depressing at the same time.

8

Download: Hit Your Head, Greedy, What, Aleister, Park And Ride And Park And Ride
For The Fans Of: Fugazi, Good Clean Fun, Quicksand
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 30.10.2015
No Sleep Records

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