“ACTUAL punk music for ACTUAL disaffected weirdos.”
Within the description of Drug Church lies this powerful statement. A promise of sorts, it’s addressed to those “weirdos” and is meant to ensure punk fans that they’ll like what they hear. But that shouldn’t keep casual fans of the genre from giving the band a chance. Because with the group’s self titled 7″, yes, they do focus on the punk aspect, but they also create a wider appeal than they let on.
The EP’s track listing contains only three songs (four if you include the digital download version of the album) but the length is pretty standard for what you’d expect from a 7″. And it does what every good EP should do, serving as a taste of what Drug Church will have to offer in the future.
From the first track, entitled “Mohawk,” it’s easy to tell what kind of attitude the band employs, as heavy guitar work and the lamenting lyrics toward a meth head with a bad perspective show off the band’s sound and style. “Northway,” the second and standout track, has an energy-spiked chorus, creating a sense of what these guys can accomplish in their live show. And “Latham Circle” closes out the vinyl release, following the same kind of sound as the other two, while adding in an appropriate outtro. Named after a highway in New York, the song seems to have the most to say, as Patrick Kindlon yells, “It feels like you stiffed me,” in the last seconds before the long outtro ends the album.
The idea behind a 7″ is to give the listener a taste of what you are to expect from an artist. With an act like Drug Church, the format is quite fitting. The only issue I had when listening to these three songs was that it felt like I was just listening to one long song with some cool parts thrown in. The record is a good buy, but rather than giving me an enjoyable spin on my record player, I’m more inclined to just go see the band play live. Unfortunately, as I reside on the west coast, I don’t see that happening any time soon, considering this band’s touring schedule and hometown being Albany, NY.
Sound Quality: 7” records are always pretty random when it comes to sound quality. Typically, it just depends on how much the band is trying the squeeze onto each side. For this EP, there are only three tracks, two on side A and one on side B. The length works pretty well, especially considering the band’s style. The sound is very well done and does not hinder the experience when playing it full blast on your record player.
Packaging: To be fair, I’m a little bias on the packaging. I absolutely detest the artwork for the album. I understand that it’s common for a band like this to have this type of art style on their cover, and it would be interesting to hear the meaning behind many of the depictions on it, but I doubt we’ll ever get that. The packaging is still solid, though, as No Sleep Records is always known for its awesome layout and finished product. The EP I have is on clear vinyl, which looks amazing.
Extras: The extras are pretty standard. The vinyl comes with a slip and a download code for the EP. What makes the download code stand out is that it comes with an additional track not included on the record. It’s just an alternative version of “Mohawk,” but it’s still a cool addition to the package.
Summary: Drug Church has something going for them in terms of the sound they have developed and the energy they bring to the record. And while they seem to aim for a certain group of fans, they’ve created a sound that has a surprisingly wide appeal. Although the taste I got from the band with this release was short lived, it’s also all I need at this point. With future releases, perhaps Drug Church will further develop the sound they had with this record and create something that will truly make the band stand out.
The 7″ is still available over at No Sleep Records.