There's something pretty unprepossessing about this release, not least because the cover makes it look like the band might as well be called Drug Life and the album called So Wrong. Works both ways, really. Anyway, we got this in the mail from north of the OC border and while we tend to look askance at anything that's further up and over than Long Beach, we decided to give this LA trio's release a listen out of the grace of our hearts. (We do have them, honest.)
If another sign was needed that some form of the early '90s has returned it can be heard in the shoegaze and Jesus and Mary Chain-circa-
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-derived elements from the start on "Everything Goes Wrong," stiff machine drumming, feedback overload, pop hookiness and a bit of light silvery chime cutting through it all as much as the slightly disaffected vocals do. Add in some sleaze with songtitles like "Sex Song," "You Stole My Drugs" and "On Your Knees" and about all that's needed are the Reid brothers' sunglasses; there's even a spot-on nod to previous inspirations via a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb."
So if it's often a derivative release on the one hand, it's still an agreeable listen just because the combination at its best is so damn thrilling still, a scraping, sprawling mess that you can hum. "Jesus Save Me (From the Crocodiles)" may be a bit of a headspinner as a title but its amped-up constant surge is a hands-down winner, and some other songs throughout approach that level. Meantime a couple of songs have their own kick and style, a little crisper and peppier perhaps, that could say more for the future--even if lyrical sentiments like "Pet Girl" aren't exactly the most enlightened things around. (Though given the intentionally ridiculous portrayal in "Metal Cowboy," one of the louder and eviller-sounding numbers, it's done with a knowing eye.)
You can give Drug Life an ear via sowrong.bandcamp.com/album/drug-life