Patrick Kindlon is a man who simply doesn’t stop. The main cog in the Self Defense Family/End Of A Year machine has found time out of delivering innovative release after innovative punk release to paint a new chapter for his other project Drug Church. With 2013’s full length debut ‘Paul Walker’ still clinging to the memory like tar, ‘Swell’ is here to keep the party going and also tide the masses over till a new full length spews it’s guts.
The most striking thing about listening to Drug Church is that they are for the best part an acquired taste. The slithering bass, loose riffs and sing/speak/shout vocals of Kindlon on opener ‘But Does It Work?’ pick up directly where ‘Paul Walker’ left off, but if your mind is not open for a full dissection then it may all go over your noggin a little in a mind bending distorted blur. However if you can loosen up your thinking ‘Swell’ is immediately a submissive and interesting little release.
Though abrasively and uncharismatically punk at heart ‘Swell’ possesses an underlying affection for 90’s alt and grunge as well. 90’s revivalists are a quid a dozen at present, but Drug Church manage to hone in and not let their influences completely consume them. Kindlon’ s darkly humorous and lazy vocals may have a distinct Pixies feel at heart and paint a gritty and consuming picture but aren’t tedious. ‘Mall SWAT’ channels bands like Fucked Up in it’s gristly approach and ‘Work Shy’ has a floating shoegaze sheen below it’s harsh riffs. ‘Ghost Dad’ hits at a faster pace, before ‘Zero Zero’ sees things out in a whirlwind of pedal wanking, buoyant riffing and almost a hint of feeling.
Drug Church are never going to be the next big scene queens. As their music demonstrates they are built for the underground and the darker and more mysterious side of life. For Kindlon Drug Church is another outlet for musical expression and ‘Swell’ is a short, sickly stopgap that is well worth your time and a brief reminder why they are such a unique and poignant band. Uncomforting, experimental and engrossing and Drug Church wouldn’t want it any other way.
‘Swell’ EP by Drug Church is released out now on No Sleep Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)