Saturday, November 10, 2018

Drug Church : "Cheer"

This band features members of Self Defense Family which got me in the door, it's the 90s flavored post-hardcore that keeps me listening. The vocals are gruff yet melodic. Somewhat in the vein of Hot water Music. The opening track is more in your face punk flavors without relying on speed. They have a more powerful drive that shows the latent shades of hardcore to give it the added muscle. Even then they layer guitar melodies over it. "Weed Pin" has more melodic nuances. "Unlicensed Hall Monitor" starts off charging out you with a great deal of angry energy before mellowing out by the end.  "Conflict Minded" runs off the same over driven power that continues to put the band in your face. This also finds them in a more straight forward punk direction until the bass grooving break down happens. Even then it's not totally out of the range of what punk does. The female vocals showing up is however unexpected.

"Tilary" if you are not paying attention seems like an extension of the break down that was in the previous song. The vocals are more spoken in the verse. There is a much more melodic vibe to this song.This one is really well written and is an ode to their displeasure in regard to law enforcement. "Unlicensed Guidance Counselor"  expands and contracts off the palm muted tension of the verses. Lyrically interesting and th right balance of melody I can hear this one growing on me. "Avoidarama" is yet another clever balance of wit and melody against the grain of meat and potatoes post-hardcore. Marginally less engaging than the previous song. The chug that moves it is much more basic.

"String References" is a blend of both more melody and more aggression. There is a catchy skip in it's step that reminds me a little of the Get Up Kids, though a more burly take on what made them endearing. I can also hear traces of Fugazi in this. "Dollar Story" is more straight up punk influenced. Though the layered strum of guitars helps to break things up. There is a dense sonic quality to the more syncopated push of "Foam Pit" that offsets what would otherwise be left of center punk rock.I'll give this album a 9 as it reminds of the days before emo became a bad word and punk seemed to be entering an exciting new time, that would get watered down by Myspace.

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